WATPA: RE: California to sell confidential salary data

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From: Norman J. Jacknis (njacknis@ix.netcom.com)
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
                      unemployment insurance.
                           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
                      Bernick said.
                           Officials at Poway-based Verification of Income
                      and Employment, or VIE, which had been working
                      with the EDD to implement the program, declined to
                      comment Friday.
                           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:vmunch@wlsmail.wls.lib.ny.us]
Sent: Saturday, June 05, 1999 2:24 AM
To: Norman J. Jacknis
Cc: 'watpa@westnet.com'
Subject: Re: WATPA: FW: California to sell confidential salary data

What is this stuff?

On Fri, 4 Jun 1999, Norman J. Jacknis wrote:

> http://www.nandotimes.com/noframes

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