Florida Senate - 2015 SB 200 By Senator Latvala 20-00144-15 2015200__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to public records; creating s. 3 197.3225, F.S.; providing an exemption from public 4 records requirements for e-mail addresses obtained by 5 a tax collector for the purpose of electronically 6 sending certain tax notices or obtaining the consent 7 of a taxpayer for electronic transmission of certain 8 tax notices; providing for future review and repeal of 9 the exemption; providing a statement of public 10 necessity; providing an effective date. 11 12 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 13 14 Section 1. Section 197.3225, Florida Statutes, is created 15 to read: 16 197.3225 Confidentiality of e-mail addresses.— 17 (1) A taxpayer’s e-mail address held by a tax collector for 18 any of the following purposes is confidential and exempt from s. 19 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution: 20 (a) Sending a quarterly tax notice for prepayment of 21 estimated taxes to the taxpayer pursuant to s. 197.222(3). 22 (b) Obtaining the taxpayer’s consent to send the tax notice 23 described in s. 197.322(3). 24 (c) Sending an additional tax notice or delinquent tax 25 notice to the taxpayer pursuant to s. 197.343. 26 (d) Sending a tax notice to a designated third party, 27 mortgagee, or vendee pursuant to s. 197.344(1). 28 (2) This section is subject to the Open Government Sunset 29 Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand repealed 30 on October 2, 2020, unless reviewed and saved from repeal 31 through reenactment by the Legislature. 32 Section 2. The Legislature finds that it is a public 33 necessity that the e-mail address of a taxpayer which is held by 34 a tax collector for the purpose of sending a tax notice or 35 obtaining the consent of the taxpayer to the electronic 36 transmission of a tax notice be made confidential and exempt 37 from s. 119.07(1), Florida Statutes, and s. 24(a), Article I of 38 the State Constitution. E-mail, rather than traditional postal 39 mail, is increasingly used as a means for communicating and 40 conducting business, including official state and local business 41 such as the payment of taxes. In order to conduct business 42 electronically with a tax collector, the taxpayer must report 43 his or her personal e-mail address. Under current law, e-mail 44 addresses are public records available to anyone for any 45 purpose. However, such addresses are unique to the individual 46 and, when combined with other personal identifying information, 47 can be used for identity theft, taxpayer scams, and other 48 invasive contacts. The public availability of personal e-mail 49 addresses invites and exacerbates thriving and well-documented 50 criminal activities and puts taxpayers at increased risk of 51 harm. Such harm would be significantly curtailed by allowing a 52 tax collector to preserve the confidentiality of taxpayer e-mail 53 addresses. 54 Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2015.