The Florida Senate voted 38-0 on Tuesday to approve a public-records exemption that would prevent the release of taxpayers’ email addresses obtained by county tax collectors for the purpose of sending tax notices.
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, said such email addresses can be used for identity theft and scams.
“The public availability of personal email addresses invites and exacerbates thriving and well-documented criminal activities and puts taxpayers at increased risk of harm,” the bill said. “Such harm would be significantly curtailed by allowing a tax collector to preserve the confidentiality of taxpayer email addresses.”
The First Amendment Foundation, an open-government watchdog group, has opposed the bill. The House version (HB 179), filed by Rep. Dane Eagle, R-Cape Coral, has moved through committees and awaits action by the full House.
Original article here.