Proposed ordinance aims to protect private information
A proposed ordinance has been introduced to the Trumbull Town Council to protect the private information of Town residents.
The proposed ordinance, which will be on the council's agenda Aug. 3, comes in the wake of concerns voiced by many residents over First Selectman Timothy Herbst’s recent demand for the names and addresses of children who participate in programs at Trumbull’s Nature and Arts Center.
According to its sponsor, Town Councilman Scott Wich (D-4), the proposed ordinance would bring restrictions on the collection and use of private information of Town residents.
“From document shredding to antivirus software and password protections, residents in Trumbull appreciate the importance of protecting their personal information,” said Wich. “We should expect nothing less from the local government to whom we entrust our personal information.”
The proposed ordinance would require the Town and certain organizations contracting with the Town to limit the collection of protected personal information on residents, establish safeguards for the use and maintenance of such information, implement safe procedures for the disposal of such information and provide affected residents with notice if such information is improperly disclosed.
Trumbull residents expressed similar privacy concerns when the town began collecting information on home security systems.
“The proposed ordinance is intended to protect resident information while allowing the Town and town-related organizations to obtain and use the information they need to continue serving the community,” Wich said.
According to the most recent information available from the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, approximately 16.6 million people were the victims of identity theft in 2012.
For more information, email Wich at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wich submitted a model policy, not the actual proposed ordinance, to the Times on Thursday afternoon.
"We will safeguard Protected Information (i.e., the Social Security Number, Driver’s License Number, State Identification Card Number, Credit or Debit Card Number, Taxpayer Identification Number, Date of Birth, Financial Account Numbers, Health Information, Home Address and, in the case of minor children, Name, recorded or maintained by any means, including through physical or electronic records, of any resident of the Town of Trumbull) in the following manner," the policy reads.
The model highlights five areas specifically:
- "We will only collect Protected Information to the extent reasonably necessary to: (a) comply with legal obligations, or (b) conduct our operations.
- We will implement and maintain reasonable safeguards to prevent the unauthorized disclosure of Protected Information.
- We will not disclose Protected Information except: (a) to the extent necessary to comply with legal obligations, or (b) as may be reasonably necessary to carry out the functions of our organization. In all such instances, use or disclosure shall be limited to the greatest extent practicable.
- With regard to the disposal of records containing Protected Information, we will: (1) shred the record before the disposal of the record; or (2) destroy the Protected Information contained in the record; or (3) modify the record to make the Protected Information unreadable; or (4) take actions consistent with commonly accepted industry practices that we reasonably believe will ensure that no unauthorized person will have access to the Protected Information contained in the record.
- We will promptly give written or electronic notice to the affected individuals of any unauthorized disclosure of Protected Information."