NEW JERSEYPRIVACY STUDYCOMMISSION By: Catherine Starghill, Esq. Privacy Study Commission, Staff
Creation of the Commission • The Privacy Study Commission was created under the Open Public Records Act (N.J.S. 47:1A-1 et seq.).
The Open Public Records Act • The Open Public Records Act (OPRA) defines the state’s policy that government records, with certain exceptions, should be readily accessible to the public for inspection, examination, and copying. • While limitations on the public’s right of access should be decided in the public’s favor, public agencies are required to keep a citizen’s personal information from public access when that access would violate the citizen’s reasonable expectation of privacy.
Creation of the Commission • The Commission was established as a temporary body of 13 members – 9 appointed by the Governor and 4 appointed by the Legislature.
Commission Members • Appointments coordinated to provide a balance • Advocates for citizen privacy interests • Advocates for increased access to government records
Larry Litwin, Chairman Professor of Public Relations & Advertising at Rowan University Thomas Cafferty General Counsel of the NJ Press Association George Cevasco Municipal Clerk for the Township of Brick Rosemary Karcher-Reavey Former Superior Court Judge in Middlesex County Commission Members
Jack McEntee Detective with the Newark Police Department Richard DeAngelis, Jr. Attorney specializing in legislative and regulatory affairs Pamela McCauley Director of the Office of Victim-Witness Advocacy in the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Grayson Barber Attorney specializing in privacy rights advocacy Commission Members
Karen Sutcliffe Attorney specializing in municipal law John Hutchison Research Director of the Senate Republican Office H. Lawrence Wilson, Jr. Retired Sergeant of Investigators in the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Commission Members
Edithe A. Fulton President of the NJ Education Association William Kearns General Counsel of the NJ League of Municipalities Commission Members
Purpose of the Commission • Legislatively mandated to study the privacy issues raised by the collection, processing, use and dissemination of information by public agencies • Balance • Need for openness in government • Concerns for personal privacy and security
Purpose of the Commission • Privacy questions: • What are the privacy issues raised by the way government agencies collect, process, use and disseminate information? • How is openness in government affected by privacy issues? • How should we deal with these issues to safeguard the privacy rights of individuals?
Commission Structure • The Commission established the following subcommittees: • Public Interest • Data Practices in New Jersey • Data Practices in Other Jurisdictions • Commercial Use • Technology
Subcommittees Public Interest • Consider the views of the public as individuals and groups representing various interests on the issue of how and where to strike a balance between openness and privacy • Host public hearings throughout the State
Subcommittees Data Practices in New Jersey • Develop an understanding of the types of personal data collected by public agencies in New Jersey • Consider the methods used to collect data • Assess the data’s current and potential use • Contemplate the views of public administrators on the data’s management
Subcommittees Data Practices in Other Jurisdictions • Learn the strategies employed by other governments to safeguard the privacy rights of its citizens • Benchmark other states with best practices in privacy protection – CA, CN, HI, FL, and IL • Benchmark the U.S. and European Union
Subcommittees Commercial Use • Identify and consider the commercial uses of government information, both positive and negative (Positive Users – credit ratings agencies and employers) (Negative Users – identify thieves)
Subcommittees Technology • Examine how technology facilitates the collection of data • Examine how data can be manipulated within government • Examine how data is used when made available to the public • Examine the effect on government data when it is combined with data from other sources (data mining)
Additional Mandate • “… study the issue of whether and to what extent the home address and home telephone number of citizens should be made publicly available by public agencies …” • Separate subcommittee to address special directive
Result of Research - • Recommend specific measures • Better safeguard privacy rights of NJ citizens
Commission Meetings: • All meetings are held at 10:30 AM – Department of Community Affairs–Conference Room 129 101 S. Broad Street (corner of Broad & Front Streets) Trenton, New Jersey 08625 • 2003 Meeting Dates – July 25, 2003 October 17, 2003 September 19, 2003 November 14, 2003 December 19, 2003
Public Hearings • June 10, 2003 – 4:00 PM Mercer County Community College (West Windsor) Room: CM-110 Communications Building • June 16, 2003 – 4:00 PM Rowan University (Glassboro) Student Center - Ballroom • June 17, 2003 – 4:00 PM Montclair State College (Upper Montclair) Student Center - Ballroom
Contact Information: The Privacy Study Commission may be contacted: email@example.com and at www.nj.gov/privacy