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Monday, March 12, 2012

More thoughts on the regional property database and State Supreme Court case, Commissioner of Public Safety v. Freedom of Information Commission.

As a follow up to the Record Journal story Mayor backs regional database, but without property data (cross posted to my blog) and my response follow up on my Town Council page where I offered my own take on the subject and just how much information is already out there, I have been discussing this with a number of people to get their thoughts, feedback and input.

On person I had an email exchange with offered to me a link to the SUMMARY OF COMMISSIONER OF PUBLIC SAFETY VS. FOIC which I am going to review. (A quick “thank you” to them for their thoughts and these points of reference; we have different mindsets here but I need that to remain as objective as possible).

The full majority opinion is available at the following link: The concurrence is available here:

One point that was made to me was “suppose you're a member of a protected class under the statute (also referenced in the Supreme Court decision I sent you). If I, as a private citizen or corporation, make your home address public, nobody can do anything to me as far as I know. If, however, I am the town assessor and make your address public, I'm violating state law.”

So I am going to see where my thoughts are to issues like that after I read the ruling. The bottom line here – I believe that currently I could walk into the town assessor's office right now and get data relative to those individuals that are part protected class under the statute (I might be mistaken – I am going to review and I will let you know). The town assessor is already making that information public if I walk in – if my thought process is correct, how is he or she suddenly in violation if that information is available online?

I suppose this is one of those situation where “the devil is in the details.”

I’ll have to look at it and follow up.

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