- Minnesota Cities & The League
- Governing & Managing
- Risk Management
- Legislative Action Center
- Training & Conferences
Share your city’s support for the citizen email protection provision before it is voted on by representatives and senators.
(Published Apr 1, 2013)
1. Get Informed.
A proposal to categorize citizen email addresses given to cities as private data has made it through all legislative committees. Its next stop will be on the House and Senate floors. The original bill SF 60/HF 20, authored by Sen. Bev Scalze (DFL-Little Canada) and Rep. Mike Freiberg (DFL-Golden Valley), is now included in the omnibus data practices bill (SF 745, Sen. Kari Dziedzic, DFL-Minneapolis).
Citizens often give their personal contact information to a city or other government agency to receive information such as newsletters or crime alerts, or to register a complaint. Under current law, those citizen email addresses and phone numbers become public data. Any third party can request the email addresses and phone numbers and use them for any purpose. A city cannot ask the requester the purpose of the request.
During the last election cycle, several cities received requests for all citizen email addresses maintained by the city. This resulted in unexpected and unwelcomed email solicitations.
The League does not believe that citizens should have to receive emails from interest groups or other third parties simply because they have requested to receive information from their government.
It is important to note that the bill would not make the content of any correspondence private, and any citizen would have access to the information the same as they do today. The only change would be to make the email addresses and phone numbers of citizens private. The legislation strikes the right balance between maintaining government transparency while protecting a person’s private information.
2. Take Action.
Contact your legislators to share your concerns with keeping citizen email private, or your city’s experience with citizen email requests. Representatives and Senators will vote on their respective versions of the bill sometime in the coming weeks. There may be little advance notice as to when a vote will be taken as the legislature nears the latter half of the session. Therefore, it is important to contact your legislators sooner rather than later.
3. Stay Involved.
Stay tuned to League publications for more information:
* By posting you are agreeing to the LMC Comment Policy.
Contact Patrick Hynes
(651) 281-1260 or (800) 925-1122
Contact Laura Ziegler
(651) 281-1267 or (800) 925-1122
1. Type your comment in the “Leave a message…” box.
2. Identify yourself (required) in one of these ways:
—Click on a social media icon to sign in through your account, OR
—Register with Disqus by entering your full name in the first field and email address in the second field.
3. Click Next.
4. Click “Post as (your name).”