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Data practices penalties, info sharing

Published (5/16/2008)
By Craig Green
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Chapter 13 of Minnesota Statute, the “Minnesota Government Data Practices Act,” dictates how certain data is gathered and maintained throughout the state.

Sponsored by Rep. Steve Simon (DFL-St. Louis Park) and Sen. Mary Olson (DFL-Bemidji), this year’s omnibus data practices law (HF3553/SF3235*) is mostly technical, with varying effective dates.

It passed the House and Senate in April. The conferred bill was passed May 7 60-0 by the Senate and a day later by the House in a 134-0 vote. The bill now awaits action by the governor.

Some of the changes effective Aug. 1, 2008, include:

• willful violation of the Data Practices Act by a government entity carries a penalty between $1,000 and $15,000, an increase from the current range of $100 to $10,000;

• data from customers using parking facilities at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport is restricted;

• government entities are prohibited from mailing any items with Social Security numbers displayed, and are prohibited from requiring Social Security numbers be written on the outside of submitted correspondence;

• once an individual is appointed to a public body, a person’s residential address and either a telephone number or e-mail address must be made public; and

• marriage dissolution documents dealing with child support or spousal maintenance must include Social Security numbers on a separate non-public document.

Effective May 16, 2008, Hennepin County Medical Center may share data between its clinics and practitioners.

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