From: Norman J. Jacknis (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Sat Jun 05 1999 - 20:46:08 EDT
I sent an HTML attachment, which could be opened with any Web browser. BUt
apparently it caused a problem.
As it turns out, the next day (Saturday) the Governor of California turned
around the decision, so the original story was no longer accurate. If you
want to read it yourself, the new URL for this story is
or you can read it in text form below.
Saturday, June 5, 1999
Davis Halts Release of Confidential Data
Government: Citing privacy issues, governor blocks
agency's plan to sell salary information on state residents
until policy is reviewed.
By EDMUND SANDERS, Times Staff Writer
A state agency's plan to sell
confidential salary information
about California residents to lenders
and creditors was blocked Friday by
Gov. Gray Davis, who said releasing
the data would violate the trust and
privacy of citizens.
In a letter to his newly appointed
director of the state Employment
Development Department, Davis
ordered the agency to halt its efforts to
sell the information to private
"I believe a state agency entrusted
with confidential personal information
on millions of its citizens . . . has a
responsibility to protect the privacy of
those citizens," Davis wrote. "The
wholesale distribution of such
information on the open market, in my
view, would violate that trust and the
privacy of those individuals."
Davis said he would reconsider the
issue after the EDD conducts a full
review of the proposal's merits and
risks, but his aides said it was unlikely
that the governor would change his
mind and permit the sale of the
Davis also asked state legislators
to reconsider a 1998 law that
authorized the EDD to sell the data in
the first place.
The controversial program--first reported
in The Times--was expected to begin later this year
in early 2000.
The EDD was planning to sell banks, lenders and
information companies electronic access to the
it keeps on how much Californians earn each year.
Mortgage lenders expressed the most interest in the
information, which they said would enable them to
reduce fraud and process loan applications faster and
But consumer groups and privacy advocates said
the state had no business selling the data and warned
that it could be misused if it fell into the wrong
such as marketers, retailers or bill collectors.
State Sen. Debra Bowen (D-Redondo Beach), one
of only three legislators who voted against the
proposal, praised Davis' prompt action in stopping
sales before any records were released.
"It's nice to be able to close the barn door
the horses get out," Bowen said.
She and several other state legislators said
plan to sponsor legislation to permanently revoke the
EDD's authority to sell the data. That authority was
granted by AB 604, a bill carried by
then-Assemblyman Steve Kuykendall, who was
elected to Congress in November. The bill won
unanimous approval in the state Senate.
EDD Director Michael Bernick said Friday that
agency would reconsider its implementation of the
program in light of Davis' comments.
"We are taking a fresh look at this whole
Bernick said, adding that the program was launched by
his predecessor, an appointee of former Gov. Pete
The EDD stood to collect up to $15 million over
the next 10 years by selling electronic access to the
wage figures, which it collects on about 14 million
Californians as part of its administration of
The EDD was planning to release a study later
month reviewing how similar programs have worked
in other states, but that release likely will be
Officials at Poway-based Verification of Income
and Employment, or VIE, which had been working
with the EDD to implement the program, declined to
VIE, a joint venture between Santa Ana-based
American Financial Corp., and Norwest Mortgage,
administers similar programs in five other states.
Copyright 1999 Los Angeles Times. All Rights Reserved
From: Vincent Munch (lar)[SMTP:email@example.com]
Sent: Saturday, June 05, 1999 2:24 AM
To: Norman J. Jacknis
Subject: Re: WATPA: FW: California to sell confidential salary data
What is this stuff?
On Fri, 4 Jun 1999, Norman J. Jacknis wrote:
This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Fri May 31 2002 - 23:55:01 EDT