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Court ruling might open door for making personal info public

September 25, 2013 J

When handing over public records, government agencies routinely censor Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers and sometimes even dates of birth.

A state court ruling this month suggests that often there may be no legal basis for keeping such nuggets of personal information secret.

The court actually made its decision in response to a more narrow question: whether the city of Lakewood properly explained its redaction of driver’s license numbers in documents given to public-records activist David Koenig. The Court of Appeals Division II ruled against the city — a decision that, if it stands, could force Lakewood to pay Koenig tens of thousands of dollars.

 

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