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.
   12  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   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   29  Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand repealed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.