Last month, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott rendered an opinion that government bodies are prohibited from disclosing Social Security Numbers in government records, and that disclosing such information is a criminal offense under the Public Information Act.
As a result, Texas county clerks stopped providing public access to government information
until they could determine how to redact such information.
Then, according to today's Austin American-Statesman
the Texas Legislature passed bills exempting clerks from liability for releasing private information. Now Texas Rep. Carl Isett says the Legislature has ignored citizen privacy and Isett has authored a bill -- HB 59
-- to protect privacy.
The bill states that a non-governmental business may not require a biometric identifier, and puts in new requirements and stipulations on the display or dissemination of Social Security numbers.