Tallahassee Democrat by Jeffrey Schweers
May 3, 2017
Warning! This is not a scam.
An email went out Monday to about 200,000 visitors to state parks from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection asking if they want to exempt their name, address and phone number from a public record search.
“You are receiving this email because you are a Florida Resident and visited an award-winning Florida State Park within the past five years,” the email begins. At the end, it has a link to click onto for people who want to request their personal information removed from a list of visitors to the parks.
Some people who received the email thought it was a phishing scam to obtain valid emails and other personal information.
But DEP spokeswoman Dee Ann Miller said the email is legit.
“We received a public records request for all visitors to state parks,” Miller said.
The request came from the Radey Law Firm in Tallahassee for all Florida residents who visited the state’s park over the last five years, including their addresses, phone numbers and email addresses.
The state is obligated to turn over that information under Florida’s public record law, but the state doesn’t keep track of all 30 million annual visitors to its parks, Miller said.
“Only visitors utilizing the Reserve America reservation system were impacted,” Miller said.
Those affected should have received an email, she said.
The idea was to give law enforcement officers and other government employees exempt from public records disclosure a chance to ask to have their names redacted from the public records report. [READ MORE]