Protects certain information on hunting, fishing and trapping license and permit applications from disclosure or release outside of the department of environmental conservation.
Ayes (58): Adams, Addabbo, Avella, Ball, Bonacic, Boyle, Breslin, Carlucci, DeFrancisco, Dilan, Farley, Felder, Flanagan, Fuschillo, Gallivan, Gianaris, Gipson, Golden, Griffo, Grisanti, Hannon, Hassell-Thomps, Hoylman, Kennedy, Klein, Krueger, Lanza, Larkin, Latimer, LaValle, Libous, Little, Marcellino, Marchione, Martins, Maziarz, Montgomery, Nozzolio, O'Brien, O'Mara, Parker, Peralta, Ranzenhofer, Rivera, Robach, Sampson, Sanders, Savino, Seward, Skelos, Smith, Squadron, Stavisky, Stewart-Cousin, Tkaczyk, Valesky, Young, Zeldin
Nays (3): Espaillat, Perkins, Serrano
Excused (2): Diaz, Ritchie
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to protecting information on hunting, fishing and trapping license and permit applications from disclosure outside of the department of environmental conservation
PURPOSE: This bill would clarify that personal information submitted on applications for hunting, fishing and trapping licenses and permits shall not be disclosed outside of the Department of Environmental Conservation.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1 of the bill would amend subdivision 2 of section 11-0305 of the Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) to clarify that the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) shall not disclose or release outside of DEC any information provided to licensing agents or to DEC by persons applying for hunting, fishing or trapping licenses, permits, stamps, buttons or tags.
Section 2 would add a new subdivision 6 to ECL § 11-0713 to provide that all information disclosed to a licensing agent or DEC by a person in furtherance of obtaining a license, permit, stamp, button or tag, shall not be disclosed or released outside of DEC, except for law enforcement purposes, or as authorized and required by federal or state law for child support enforcement purposes. Also, the bill would require DEC to establish procedures to ensure that such information is protected from disclosure.
Section 3 provides that the bill would take effect immediately.
EXISTING LAW: Article 11 of the ECL governs the taking of wildlife and provides for the issuance of licenses and permits for hunting, trapping and fishing, but it contains no express restrictions on the release of information pertaining to holders of licenses, permits, stamps, buttons or tags.
JUSTIFICATION: The right of hunters, trappers and anglers to maintain their personal privacy and security entails an obligation of government to protect personal information submitted to an agency for the limited purpose of obtaining a license, permit, stamp, button or tag from unwarranted disclosures. At a time of growing private and governmental recognition and concern about identify theft and its serious impact on the personal and financial lives of individuals across the country, releasing an individual's personal information poses a substantial risk that such person's identity may be appropriated for illegal purposes and illicit financial gain.
DEC recently installed a new database system, the DEC Automated Licensing System (known as "DECALS") which maintains information on
sporting licenses and permits. The personal details entered into the database include the following:
- individual's first name; - individual's last name; - individual's middle name or initials; - suffix; - gender; - height; - eye color; - date of birth; - driver's license number; - customer identification number; - whether the licensee is a New York resident; - whether the licensee is legally blind; - residency proof type; - whether the licensee served in the military; - whether the licensee is permanent 40% military disabled; - fulfillment information; - preference points; - e-mail address; - residential and mailing address information; and - telephone number.
Clearly, this database contains sensitive personal information, including the intimate details relating to personal matters (such as medical conditions and physical attributes), the release of which would be an unwarranted intrusion into an individual's personal privacy. Moreover, the computerized nature of this database and the release in that format provides for ease of dissemination and exchange of such information, heightening the danger or invasion of personal privacy and the potential for identity theft.
Based upon these considerations, DEC has determined that the contents of this database should not be disclosed outside of the agency because it is protected by the personal privacy provisions in the State Freedom of Information Law. DEC's position that such information is protected from disclosure "is supported by case law, and was vindicated by the recent decision of the State Supreme Court in the case of GOVER V. DEC, No. 2869-05 (Sup. Ct. Albany County 2005). Enactment of this bill would codify these holdings and reaffirm the protection of personal information for sportsmen and women. This bill would further clarify in the ECL that information submitted in the process of obtaining a hunting, fishing or trapping license or permit shall not be disclosed outside the agency, except for law enforcement purposes, or as required by federal or state law or regulation for child support enforcement purposes. The information in the DECALS database relates to and arises from a voluntary recreational activity, and not from the permitting or operation of a regulated business or commercial activity. Sporting license and permit applicants do not anticipate that the information they provide to a licensing agent or DEC for recreational sport activities will be distributed or otherwise shared with outside sources.
This bill, by making it explicit in the ECL that such information is protected from disclosure outside of DEC, will ensure that DEC may
continue to protect sporting license applicants' just expectation that personal information will be kept private.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: S.8130 of 2006; Passed Senate S.2759 of 2007/08; Passed Senate in 2007 S.855 of 2009/10; Referred to Environmental Conservation S.2648 of 2011/2012; Passed Senate
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This bill shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 292 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 9, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sens. GRISANTI, MARCELLINO -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Environ- mental Conservation AN ACT to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to protecting information on hunting, fishing and trapping license and permit applications from disclosure outside of the department of envi- ronmental conservation THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 2 of section 11-0305 of the environmental conservation law, as amended by section 1 of part D of chapter 61 of the laws of 2000, is amended to read as follows: 2. To issue the licenses and permits provided for by law, to fix their terms, and the fees therefor, when no statutory provision is made, to designate agents to sell and promote the sale of licenses, to adopt procedures for the issuance of licenses, to establish the design and format of licenses and the information to be contained thereon, TO PROTECT FROM DISCLOSURE OR RELEASE INFORMATION SUBMITTED TO LICENSING AGENTS OR THE DEPARTMENT BY PERSONS SEEKING TO OBTAIN A HUNTING, FISHING OR TRAPPING LICENSE, PERMIT, STAMP, BUTTON OR TAG, CONSISTENT WITH THE PROVISIONS OF SUBDIVISION SEVEN OF SECTION 11-0713 OF THIS ARTICLE, to provide where it deems appropriate for tags and buttons, to adopt license conditions respecting tagging or identifying fish and wildlife being possessed or transported, to establish procedures and requirements for reporting license sales and handling and remittance of license revenues by persons or entities issuing such licenses, to provide for acceptable methods of payment of license fees, and to revoke licenses and permits as provided by law; S 2. Section 11-0713 of the environmental conservation law is amended by adding a new subdivision 7 to read as follows:EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD03014-01-3 S. 292 2
7. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF LAW TO THE CONTRARY, INFOR- MATION PROVIDED TO A LICENSING AGENT OR THE DEPARTMENT BY A PERSON IN FURTHERANCE OF SUCH PERSON'S OBTAINING A LICENSE, PERMIT, STAMP, BUTTON OR TAG ISSUED PURSUANT TO THIS TITLE, SHALL NOT BE DISCLOSED OR RELEASED OUTSIDE OF THE DEPARTMENT, PROVIDED THAT THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL NOT PROHIBIT THE DEPARTMENT FROM SHARING SUCH INFORMATION WITH: LAW ENFORCE- MENT PERSONNEL; OR STATE OR FEDERAL ENTITIES ENGAGED IN CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT AS AUTHORIZED AND REQUIRED BY STATE OR FEDERAL LAW OR REGU- LATION. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL ESTABLISH PROCEDURES TO ENSURE THAT SUCH INFORMATION IS PROTECTED FROM DISCLOSURE OUTSIDE OF THE DEPARTMENT, AS PROVIDED IN THIS SUBDIVISION. S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.