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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: January 1, 2019 01:37 PM
From: Senator Jay Costa
To: All Senate members
Subject: Right-to-Know Law Exemption for Public Employees' Birth Dates
Please join me in co-sponsoring legislation introduced as Senate Bill 380 in the 2017-2018 Legislative Session. This bill would exclude public employees’ birth dates from public records under the Right-to-Know Law. It has been brought to my attention that the Office of Open Records has traditionally construed the definition of personal identification information narrowly and will not expand the exemption to include birth date without language being placed in statute.

The exposure to fraud and identity theft has increased exponentially with the Internet. There is concern that the release of birth dates may expose public employees to greater risk of identity theft, credit fraud, and/or harassment. With the vast array of personal information available on the Internet, the association of a birth date to an employee’s identity may reveal other information including addresses, family members, and marital status which could further be used to find financial information and credit ratings. Because the age of an employee could be pertinent to some authentic inquiry, the years of age or year of birth may be provided to a requestor; however, the specific birth date should be expressly prohibited.

I hope you will join me in supporting this legislation. During the previous session, Senators Fontana, Brewster, Schwank, Farnese, Hughes, Boscola and Williams co-sponsored this bill.

Introduced as SB460