Florida Senate - 2014                                     SB 538
       By Senator Latvala
       20-00502-14                                            2014538__
    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         the tax collector for the purpose of electronically
    6         sending tax notices or obtaining the consent of the
    7         taxpayer to the electronic transmission of tax
    8         notices; providing for future review and repeal of the
    9         exemption; providing a statement of public necessity;
   10         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) Notwithstanding s. 668.6076, a taxpayer’s e-mail
   18  address held by a tax collector for the following purposes is
   19  confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I
   20  of the State Constitution:
   21         (a) Sending a quarterly tax notice for prepayment of
   22  estimated taxes under s. 197.222(3) to the taxpayer.
   23         (b) Obtaining the taxpayer’s consent to send the tax notice
   24  described in s. 197.322(3).
   25         (c) Sending an additional tax notice or delinquent tax
   26  notice to the taxpayer under s. 197.343.
   27         (d) Sending a tax notice to a designated third party,
   28  mortgagee, or vendee as provided under s. 197.344(1).
   29         (2) An e-mail address provided by a taxpayer to the tax
   30  collector via the tax collector’s website or other
   31  correspondence for a purpose other than those listed in
   32  subsection (1) is not exempt from the state’s public record law
   33  pursuant to s. 668.6076.
   34         (3) This section is subject to the Open Government Sunset
   35  Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand repealed
   36  on October 2, 2019, unless reviewed and saved from repeal
   37  through reenactment by the Legislature.
   38         Section 2. The Legislature finds that it is a public
   39  necessity that the e-mail address of a taxpayer which is held by
   40  the tax collector for the purpose of sending a tax notice or
   41  obtaining the consent of the taxpayer to the electronic
   42  transmission of a tax notice be made confidential and exempt
   43  from s. 119.07(1), Florida Statutes, and s. 24(a), Article I of
   44  the State Constitution. E-mail rather than traditional postal
   45  mail is increasingly used as a means for communicating and
   46  conducting business, including official state business such as
   47  the payment of taxes. In order to carry out business
   48  electronically with the tax collector, the taxpayer must report
   49  his or her personal e-mail address. Under current law, e-mail
   50  addresses are public records available to anyone for any
   51  purpose. However, such addresses are unique to the individual
   52  and, when combined with other personal identifying information,
   53  can be used for identity theft, taxpayer scams, and other
   54  invasive contacts. The public availability of personal e-mail
   55  addresses invites and exacerbates thriving and well-documented
   56  criminal activities putting property owners at increased risk of
   57  harm. Such harm could be significantly curtailed by allowing the
   58  tax collector to remove the availability of taxpayer e-mail
   59  addresses.
   60         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2014.