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Thread: FCPC ALERT #2010-1: Outrageous UVA SSN abuse & data industry ploy ignite bill fights in Vir

  1. #1
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    While not per se firearms related,the items below are timely and actionable intellience for liberty minded gun owners, and specifically, the items related to the massive effort to expand primary enforcement power for police to stop cars for suspicion of cell phone use, texting, smoking, not wearing seatbelts properly, or “driving while looking young,” should be of interests to gun ownersconsidering recent discusions re questions & actions by police re firearms in vehicles once the vehicle is stopped.

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    http://www.FairfaxCountyPrivacyCouncil.org

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    FCPC ALERT #2010-1: Outrageous UVA SSN abuse & data industry ploy ignite bill fights in Va. General Assembly!
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    This message is intended for members of the Fairfax County Privacy Council, and anyone else who might be interested in advancing privacy in Virginia. Maximum dissemination of this message is encouraged!

    Privacy Notice: All communication from the Fairfax Privacy Council is sent using blind carbon copy ("BCC") format for your security and privacy.

    ALERT ITEM SUMMARY:
    1. Delegate Carr introduces bill to stop UVA SSN abuse
    2. Delegate Abbott leads charge to publish your SSN on the Internet if you get a traffic ticket
    3. This year’s only red light camera bill killed
    4. Nanny state bill package seeks to curtail travelers’ privacy rights
    5. U.S. Supreme Court rules for privacy rights

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    1. Delegate Carr introduces bill to stop UVA SSN abuse
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    According to legislative staffers, the University of Virginia has taken the unusual legal position that despite well known Virginia and federal laws making it “unlawful” for governmental agencies to demand disclosure of social security numbers (absent explicit statutory authority by the General Assembly or Congress), UVA can FORCE students to disclose the first 5 digits of their social security number on any form or media UVA officials command.

    In other words, the term “social security number” in UVA speak only means the full 9 numbers and not, say, the first 5, 6, 7, or 8 numbers.

    This must be some kind of “new math” being developed by those brainy ivory tower administrators at UVA – a type of n-space where a confidential number is no longer confidential if you omit some of the digits. Curious math it is especially considering that no federal or Virginia statute authorizes UVA to require disclosure of SSNs to attend UVA or take a biology exam.

    Apparently this practice results in the first 5 digits of student SSNs being forcibly impregnated upon various forms and even exams, which are often taken home or to the coffee shop by professors and student teaching assistants to grade. Adding insult to injury, the numbers are then posted at various times and places in public view, such as test results. This is more than just a little weird considering that the General Assembly recently commanded that the first 5 digits of SSNs are **exempt** from FOIA even from government records where the agency complied with the law in obtaining the numbers.

    To put a stop to this ivory tower “new math” privacy invasion, Delegate Carr (D – Chesterfield County & Richmond) has introduced HB 836, and the measure is now co-patroned by Delegate May (R – Loudoun & Clarke Counties), Chair of the powerful Joint Committee on Technology and Science. Basically the bill tells state colleges that “t shall be unlawful for any agency to: 1. Require an individual to disclose or furnish his social security number **or any portion thereof** . . .”

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    Action Item: Send an email to House Gen. Laws Sub. Com #2 to support HB 836
    ************

    Suggested email:

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    To:
    DelSIaquinto@house.virginia.gov, DelGOder@house.virginia.gov, DelTGilbert@house.virginia.gov, DelCPeace@house.virginia.gov, DelRAnderson@house.virginia.gov, DelBPhillips@house.virginia.gov, DelMJames@house.virginia.gov


    SUBJECT: Please support HB 836 to protect all 9 digits of confidential SSNs!

    Dear Chairman Iaquinto and members of House Gen. Laws Sub. Com #2:

    Please support HB 836 to protect all 9 digits of confidential SSNs!

    Some state colleges seem to think it’s OK to demand disclosure of most of the digits of an SSN even though state and federal makes it unlawful for governmental agencies to demand disclosure of SSNs generally absent specific statutory authority.

    Please put a stop to these “new math” legal shenanigans by state colleges by passing HB 836 to protect all 9 digits of confidential SSNs from arbitrary disclosure demands and use by state agencies. Without action, other state agencies may be tempted to adopt this “new math” interpretation of SSNs.

    I look forward to hearing from you on this matter.

    Sincerely,

    YOUR NAME
    YOUR City or County

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    2. Delegate Abbott leads charge to publish your SSN on the internet if you get a traffic ticket
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    According to legislative staffers, data aggregator lobbyists from Lexis-Nexus and other companies are galloping through the halls of the General Assembly Building gathering co-patrons for Delegate Abbott’s (D - County of James City & Newport News) HB 1259 to require that “[t]he clerk of the district court shall ensure that all nonconfidential court records maintained by his office regarding a person's conviction for a criminal offense or a traffic infraction shall contain the last four digits of the person's social security number.”

    Abbott's privacy invasion bill would force Clerks of District Courts to collect and record confidential SSN numbers into publicly viewable records so that the data aggregation industry can easily harvest them for profitable re-sale to any buyer – the bill also requires that Clerks of Court put these records on the Internet if the Court generally puts such records online!

    Abbott's bill seems to advance a very strange policy goal considering that the General Assembly has worked to pass numerous bills in recent years to stop the impregnation of SSNs into new “land records” and encouraging Circuit Court Clerks to digitally redact SSNs which remain in the older “land records.”

    At this point HB 1259 is assigned to the House Courts of Justice Committee but curiously not assigned to a sub-committee. Hmmmmm.

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    Action item: Call House Courts of Justice Committee Chair Delegate Dave Albo!
    ************

    If you live in **Fairfax County**, call Committee Chair Delegate Dave Albo (R – Fairfax County) at (804) 698-1042 and politely tell him, his legislative assistant, or his answering machine **something** along the lines of:

    I live in Fairfax County – I am shocked to hear about HB 1259 and this dangerous scheme to publish the social security numbers of anyone who gets a traffic ticket - please make sure this evil bill dies in committee – this is a really bad – please make sure you look at this bill and talk to the patron about how dangerous it is - etc.

    Be courteous but firm, and leave your name and phone number 

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    3. This year’s only red light camera bill killed
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    This past Monday House Transportation Subcommittee # 1 failed to report Delegate Herring’s (D - County of Fairfax & Alexandria) HB 461, a bill remove VDOT oversight of localities seeking to employ red light camera surveillance operations and let ticket camera corporations have direct access to DMV data.

    Taxpayer funded lobbyists from Fairfax County, Arlington County, and Alexandria testified in favor of the bill. 4 FCPC members attended the hearing and FCPC was the only speaker against the bill. My two objections:

    (1) Public safety - VDOT should maintain oversight because previous VDOT studies concluded that the number of injury producing accidents rose at intersections where ticket cameras were deployed.

    (2) Privacy – control of DMV data should not be delegated to foreign corporations especially given that law enforcement is an inherently governmental function.

    Subcommittee Chairman Delegate Cosgrove (R – Chesapeake) explained that he opposed the bill because it breached two of the procedural safeguards that the General Assembly insisted on before allowing red light cameras to be turned back on in Virginia.

    But Cosgrove then grew a little more stern and emphasized that the purpose of red light cameras “is NOT to raise revenue.”

    The room remained quiet for a few seconds. Hearing no Motion on the bill, Cosgrove indicated that the bill failed to report.

    FCPC remains opposed to ticket cameras and is pleased that very few red light cameras have been erected in Virginia, a result likely due to the inability of localities to raise enough revenue from them given the two procedural safeguards that HB 461 sought to repeal, and because “[n]o proceedings for contempt or arrest of a person summoned by mailing shall be instituted for failure to appear on the return date of the summons.” Va. Code § 15.2-968.1(G).

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    4. Nanny state bill package seeks to curtail travelers’ privacy rights
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    A phalanx of bills have been filed whose objectives are not just to require seat belt use, ban cell phone use, and ban smoking, but to also make these offenses **primary offenses** empowering the police to conduct traffic stops upon mere suspicion that a driver or passenger is using a cell phone, not wearing her seatbelt correctly, or smoking.

    Making matters worse, some bills now filed, or expected to soon be filed, seek to make the “provisional driver” (Va. licensed drivers under 18 years of age) offenses primary as well – this would result in giving the police carte blanch to stop any vehicle and their occupants on mere suspicion that the driver is under 18 when the vehicle is either (1) on the street between midnight and 4 AM or (2) whenever there is more than 1 passenger in the vehicle.

    In effect these bills criminalize “driving while looking young.”

    I think these are all the bills (see below), but you never know, more might tumble out of the closet at any moment:
    • HB22 ..Handheld personal communications device; prohibits use while operating motor vehi..
    • HB58 ..Wireless telecommunications devices; prohibits talking on such device unless in h..
    • HB186 ..Smoking in cars with minor present; civil penalty...
    • HB212 ..Handheld personal communications device; texting while driving primary offense...
    • HB229 ..Driver's license, provisional; restriction for those transporting up to three chi..
    • HB783 ..Wireless telecommunications devices; prohibits talking on such device unless in h..
    • HB901 ..Safety belts; makes nonuse thereof a primary offense...
    • SB9 ..Safety belts; makes nonuse thereof a primary offense...
    • SB10 ..Wireless telecommunications devices; prohibits talking on such device unless in h..
    • SB219 ..Safety belt use for persons under 19 years of age...
    • SB229 ..Safety belt use...
    • SB517 ..Wireless telecommunications devices in motor vehicles...
    • SB574 ..Wireless telecommunications devices in motor vehicles..

    More to follow on the nannystater offensive as the legislative session progresses.

    ***************************
    5. U.S. Supreme Court rules for privacy rights
    ***************************
    At least three recent opinions of the United States Supreme Court have ruled on the side of upholding privacy rights – taken together they are a welcome trend in an era where Virginia state legislators routinely propose bills allowing police to demand identification from citizens on the street and to custodially arrest citizens for petty offenses in lieu of issuing them a summons as has been the law in Virginia for nearly a half a century:

    Arizona v. Gant the U.S. Supreme Court sharply limited police searches of automobiles after occupants are arrested; see summary at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arizona_v._Gant

    Safford Unified School District #1 v. Redding - the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that high school administrators may not strip search teenage girls on suspicion they have Motrin in their undies - see analysis at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/25/AR2009062501690.html

    Virginia v. Harris – the U.S. Supreme Court refused to review a Virginia Supreme Court ruling that an anonymous reports of suspected drunken driving is not enough to justify police in stopping a vehicle; see analysis at http://virginiaduilawyer.clarislaw.com/virginia-dui/supreme-court-wont-review-virginia-case-re-anonymous-tip-about-suspected-drunken-driving.php


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    Questions, or to be added/deleted from future Alerts? Contact Mike Stollenwerk at FCPCChairman at cox.net




  2. #2
    Regular Member t33j's Avatar
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    Yeah - when (if ever) is it required to give the police your SSN?
    Sic Semper Tyrannis

  3. #3
    Regular Member Decoligny's Avatar
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    Mike wrote:
    ***************************
    1. Delegate Carr introduces bill to stop UVA SSN abuse
    ***************************
    According to legislative staffers, the University of Virginia has taken the unusual legal position that despite well known Virginia and federal laws making it “unlawful” for governmental agencies to demand disclosure of social security numbers (absent explicit statutory authority by the General Assembly or Congress), UVA can FORCE students to disclose the first 5 digits of their social security number on any form or media UVA officials command.


    ***************************
    2. Delegate Abbott leads charge to publish your SSN on the internet if you get a traffic ticket
    ***************************
    According to legislative staffers, data aggregator lobbyists from Lexis-Nexus and other companies are galloping through the halls of the General Assembly Building gathering co-patrons for Delegate Abbott’s (D - County of James City & Newport News) HB 1259 to require that “[t]he clerk of the district court shall ensure that all nonconfidential court records maintained by his office regarding a person's conviction for a criminal offense or a traffic infraction shall contain the last four digits of the person's social security number.”

    So if a UVA student gets a traffic ticket, then anyone with access to UVA forms essentially has access to the entire SSN of the student.

    First Five and Last Four = The Whole Nine Yards.

    Looks like an identity theft ring waiting to happen.

  4. #4
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    t33j wrote:
    Yeah - when (if ever) is it required to give the police your SSN?
    The police, like any other governmental agency in Virginia, must provide the privacy warning to inform you of the statutory authority for their demand of the SSN, if any, etc., per Section 7(b) of the Federal privacy Act and Section 3806 of the Virginia Government Data Collection and Dissemination Practices Act.

    Racall Chet's settlement of I think $25,000 for the harborfest arrest - the federal court refused to dismiss his SSN violation claim, prompting the city to settle.




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    Gotta response from Dave Albo re HB1259. He says:



    Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I read it and don't even understand it! It is in my committee, and unless there is some kind of absolute necessity for it, which I doubt, I will kill it.



    Dave

  6. #6
    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    The Donkey wrote:
    Gotta response from Dave Albo. He says:



    Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I read it and don't even understand it! It is in my committee, and unless there is some kind of absolute necessity for it, which I doubt, I will kill it.

    class=Apple-style-span

    Dave
    Nice work Donkey!

    Actually, it was discussed as soon as it showed up and fortunately, that committee has some good members. There wasn't much chance of it getting out as it was, but with the addition of Delegate Albo, it's pretty much history.

    Fortunately (or unfortunately) it's always easier to kill a bill than get one passed. Since it isn't a gun issue or even a rural matter, it was just one of those (privacy) laws that should concern everyone.

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