January 22, 2020
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Senate Bill 2290

Senate Bill sb2290c2

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    Florida Senate - 2004                    CS for CS for SB 2290

    By the Committees on Judiciary; Banking and Insurance; and
    Senator Clary




    308-2395-04

  1                      A bill to be entitled

  2         An act relating to public records exemptions;

  3         repealing s. 717.117(8), F.S.; deleting an

  4         exemption from certain public records

  5         requirements for financial records held by the

  6         Department of Financial Services; creating s.

  7         717.1171, F.S.; exempting from public records

  8         requirements certain financial records held by

  9         the Department of Financial Services; providing

10         exceptions; creating s. 717.12401, F.S.;

11         exempting from public records requirements

12         certain personal photographic information held

13         by the department; providing exceptions;

14         creating s. 717.12402, F.S.; exempting from

15         public records requirements certain databases

16         subscribed to by the department under certain

17         circumstances; amending s. 717.1301, F.S.;

18         creating an exemption from public records

19         requirements for documents produced during an

20         investigation or examination conducted by the

21         Department of Financial Services; providing for

22         future legislative review and repeal; creating

23         s. 717.1342, F.S.; providing criminal penalties

24         for disclosure of confidential records;

25         providing findings of public necessity;

26         providing for future legislative review and

27         repeal; providing a contingent effective date.

28  

29  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:

30  

31  

                                  1

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    Florida Senate - 2004                    CS for CS for SB 2290
    308-2395-04




 1         Section 1.  Subsection (8) of section 717.117, Florida

 2  Statutes, is repealed.

 3         Section 2.  Section 717.1171, Florida Statutes, is

 4  created to read:

 5         717.1171  Public records exemption for social security

 6  numbers, unclaimed property account dollar amounts, the number

 7  of reported shares of stock, and financial account numbers.--

 8         (1)  Social security numbers, unclaimed property

 9  account dollar amounts, the number of reported shares of

10  stock, and financial account numbers held by the department

11  are confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a),

12  Art. I of the State Constitution. Notwithstanding this

13  exemption, the last four digits of social security numbers,

14  unclaimed property account dollar amounts, and the number of

15  reported shares of stock shall be released to an attorney

16  licensed to practice law in this state, a licensed

17  Florida-certified public accountant, or a private investigator

18  licensed under chapter 493, and registered with the department

19  under this chapter. Notwithstanding this exemption, social

20  security numbers, unclaimed property account dollar amounts,

21  the number of reported shares of stock, and financial account

22  numbers held by the department may be provided to another

23  agency in the furtherance of that agency's duties and

24  responsibilities, or to an employee of such an agency. The

25  receiving person or agency, other than the person entitled to

26  the unclaimed property, must maintain the confidential and

27  exempt status of such information. This exemption applies to

28  social security numbers, unclaimed property account dollar

29  amounts, the number of reported shares of stock, and financial

30  account numbers held by the department before, on, or after

31  October 1, 2004.

                                  2

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    Florida Senate - 2004                    CS for CS for SB 2290
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 1         (2)  If information made confidential and exempt under

 2  this section is offered as evidence in any administrative,

 3  civil, or criminal proceeding, or is otherwise subject to such

 4  a proceeding, the presiding officer, in her or his discretion,

 5  may prevent the disclosure of information that is confidential

 6  and exempt pursuant to this section.

 7         (3)  An attorney licensed to practice law in this

 8  state, a licensed Florida-certified public accountant, or a

 9  private investigator licensed under chapter 493, and

10  registered with the department under this chapter, or an

11  employee thereof, may disclose in good faith the last four

12  digits of social security numbers, unclaimed property account

13  dollar amounts, and the number of reported shares of stock to

14  a person who is believed by the attorney, accountant, or

15  investigator, or an employee thereof, to be entitled to the

16  unclaimed property.

17         (4)  The department, or an employee of the department,

18  may disclose in good faith the last four digits of social

19  security numbers, unclaimed property account dollar amounts,

20  and the number of reported shares of stock to a person who is

21  believed by the department, or an employee of the department,

22  to be entitled to the unclaimed property.

23         (5)  This section is subject to the Open Government

24  Sunset Review Act of 1995 in accordance with s. 119.15 and

25  shall stand repealed on October 2, 2009, unless reviewed and

26  saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.

27         Section 3.  Section 717.12401, Florida Statutes, is

28  created to read:

29         717.12401  Public records exemption for personal

30  photographic identification.--

31  

                                  3

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    Florida Senate - 2004                    CS for CS for SB 2290
    308-2395-04




 1         (1)  Personal photographic identification held by the

 2  department pursuant to this chapter is confidential and exempt

 3  from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State

 4  Constitution. This exemption applies to personal photographic

 5  identification held by the department before, on, or after

 6  October 1, 2004.

 7         (2)  This section does not prohibit the department from

 8  providing the personal photographic identification to any law

 9  enforcement or administrative agency or regulatory

10  organization. The agency receiving the personal photographic

11  identification that would be confidential and exempt pursuant

12  to this section must maintain the confidentiality of the

13  information so long as the information would otherwise be

14  confidential.

15         (3)  If personal photographic identification made

16  confidential and exempt under this section is offered as

17  evidence in any administrative, civil, or criminal proceeding,

18  or is otherwise subject to such a proceeding, the presiding

19  officer, in her or his discretion, may prevent the disclosure

20  of information that is confidential and exempt pursuant to

21  this section.

22         (4)  This section is subject to the Open Government

23  Sunset Review Act of 1995 in accordance with s. 119.15 and

24  shall stand repealed on October 2, 2009, unless reviewed and

25  saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.

26         Section 4.  Section 717.12402, Florida Statutes, is

27  created to read:

28         717.12402  Public records exemption for database

29  subscription required to be confidential by the database

30  vendor.--A database subscribed to by the department and

31  information derived from the database is confidential and

                                  4

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    Florida Senate - 2004                    CS for CS for SB 2290
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 1  exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State

 2  Constitution if the database vendor requires confidentiality.

 3  This section is subject to the Open Government Sunset Review

 4  Act of 1995 in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand

 5  repealed on October 2, 2009, unless reviewed and saved from

 6  repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.

 7         Section 5.  Subsection (5) of section 717.1301, Florida

 8  Statutes, is amended to read:

 9         717.1301  Investigations; examinations; subpoenas.--

10         (5)(a)  Except as otherwise provided by this section,

11  any list of holders under investigation or examination or to

12  be investigated or examined, and information received or

13  created during an investigation or examination by the

14  Department of Financial Services under this chapter, including

15  any consumer complaint, are confidential and exempt from s.

16  119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution until

17  the investigation or examination is completed or ceases to be

18  active.

19         (b)  The department may provide such confidential and

20  exempt information to a law enforcement agency, administrative

21  agency, or regulatory organization in the furtherance of its

22  duties and responsibilities. The law enforcement agency,

23  administrative agency, or regulatory organization must

24  maintain the confidential and exempt status of the information

25  so long as it would otherwise be confidential and exempt.

26         (c)  If such confidential and exempt information is

27  offered into evidence in any administrative, civil, or

28  criminal proceeding, the presiding officer may, in her or his

29  discretion, prevent the disclosure of such information.

30         (d)  Such information shall remain confidential and

31  exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State

                                  5

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    Florida Senate - 2004                    CS for CS for SB 2290
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 1  Constitution until after the department completes its

 2  investigation or examination or the investigation or

 3  examination ceases to be active to the extent disclosure

 4  would:

 5         1.  Jeopardize the integrity of another active

 6  investigation.

 7         2.  Reveal the name, address, telephone number, social

 8  security number, or any other identifying information of a

 9  complainant, customer, or account holder, except as authorized

10  by s. 717.1171.

11         3.  Reveal the identity of a confidential source.

12         4.  Reveal investigative techniques or procedures.

13         5.  Reveal a trade secret as defined in s. 688.002.

14         6.  Reveal proprietary business information obtained by

15  the department from any person which is only made available to

16  the department on a confidential or similarly restricted

17  basis.

18  

19  For purposes of this subsection, an investigation or

20  examination of a person other than a holder under s. 17.20(3)

21  shall be considered "active" so long as the department or any

22  law enforcement or administrative agency or regulatory

23  organization is proceeding with reasonable dispatch and has a

24  reasonable good faith belief that the investigation or

25  examination may lead to the filing of an administrative,

26  civil, or criminal proceeding or to the denial or conditional

27  grant of a license, registration, or permit. This subsection

28  does not prohibit disclosure of information that is required

29  by law to be filed with the department and, but for the

30  investigation or examination, would be subject to s.

31  119.07(1).

                                  6

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    Florida Senate - 2004                    CS for CS for SB 2290
    308-2395-04




 1         (e)  This exemption does not prohibit disclosure of

 2  information that is required by law to be filed with the

 3  department or that is otherwise subject to s. 119.07(1) and s.

 4  24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.

 5         (f)  This subsection is subject to the Open Government

 6  Sunset Review Act of 1995 in accordance with s. 119.15, and

 7  shall stand repealed on October 2, 2009, unless reviewed and

 8  saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature. The

 9  material compiled by the department in an investigation or

10  examination under this chapter is confidential until the

11  investigation or examination is complete. The material

12  compiled by the department in an investigation or examination

13  under this chapter remains confidential after the department's

14  investigation or examination is complete if the department has

15  submitted the material or any part of it to any law

16  enforcement agency or other administrative agency for further

17  investigation or for the filing of a criminal or civil

18  prosecution and such investigation has not been completed or

19  become inactive.

20         Section 6.  Section 717.1342, Florida Statutes, is

21  created to read:

22         717.1342  Criminal penalties for disclosure of

23  confidential records.--Any person who willfully and knowingly

24  violates s. 717.1171 or s. 717.12401 commits a felony of the

25  third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s.

26  775.083.

27         Section 7.  (1)  The Legislature finds that it is a

28  public necessity that social security numbers and financial

29  account numbers of apparent owners of unclaimed property which

30  are in the custody of the Department of Financial Services be

31  made confidential and exempt in order to prevent identity

                                  7

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    Florida Senate - 2004                    CS for CS for SB 2290
    308-2395-04




 1  theft and related crimes. The Legislature further finds that

 2  this exemption is a public necessity in order to prevent the

 3  use of such information in forged documents demonstrating

 4  entitlement to unclaimed property and thereby defrauding the

 5  rightful property owner or the State School Fund.

 6  Additionally, the social security number is the only

 7  nationwide, unique numeric form of identification. Release of

 8  a person's social security number is of concern due to the

 9  amount of information about an individual which that number

10  can provide. A social security number is often the link to an

11  individual's personal records, whether such records are

12  financial, educational, medical, or familial in nature.

13  Social security numbers furnished to registered owner

14  representatives by the Department of Financial Services under

15  current law have been released in solicitations to prospective

16  unclaimed property clients.  Additionally, social security

17  numbers furnished to an owner's representative were used to

18  manufacture and submit fraudulent documents in order to obtain

19  unclaimed property in excess of $350,000 from the department.

20  Accordingly, once the social security numbers are released,

21  the department has no control over what the recipients of the

22  social security number information do with this sensitive

23  information. The Legislature further finds that the continued

24  release of social security numbers, and this lack of control,

25  jeopardizes the financial security of potentially hundreds of

26  thousands of individuals whose social security numbers are

27  held by the Department of Financial Services on the unclaimed

28  property database.  Therefore, the harm from disclosure

29  outweighs any public benefit obtained from the release of such

30  information.

31  

                                  8

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    Florida Senate - 2004                    CS for CS for SB 2290
    308-2395-04




 1         (2)  The Legislature finds that it is a public

 2  necessity that unclaimed property account dollar amounts and

 3  the number of reported shares of stock which are in the

 4  custody of the Department of Financial Services be made

 5  confidential and exempt in order to prevent unclaimed property

 6  fraud and related crimes. The Legislature further finds that

 7  this exemption is a public necessity in order to prevent

 8  criminal elements from using such information to identify

 9  which accounts to claim by using forged documents

10  demonstrating entitlement to unclaimed property, thereby

11  defrauding the rightful property owner or the State School

12  Fund. Therefore, the harm from disclosure outweighs any public

13  benefit obtained from the release of such information. The

14  Legislature further finds that it is necessary, however, to

15  provide access to unclaimed property account dollar amounts

16  and the number of reported shares of stock to an attorney

17  licensed to practice law in this state, a licensed

18  Florida-certified public accountant, or a private investigator

19  licensed under chapter 493, Florida Statutes, and registered

20  with the department, because they are the only persons, other

21  than the owner or an heir of the original owner, who are

22  authorized to file claims on behalf of owners of unclaimed

23  property pursuant to chapter 717, Florida Statutes.  Providing

24  access to unclaimed property account dollar amounts and the

25  number of reported shares of stock to an attorney licensed to

26  practice law in this state, a licensed Florida-certified

27  public accountant, or a private investigator licensed under

28  chapter 493, Florida Statutes, and registered with the

29  department, will assist them in determining which accounts to

30  pursue on behalf of owners.

31  

                                  9

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    Florida Senate - 2004                    CS for CS for SB 2290
    308-2395-04




 1         (3)  The Legislature finds that it is a public

 2  necessity that all personal photographic identifications that

 3  are in the custody of the Department of Financial Services be

 4  made confidential and exempt in order to prevent identity

 5  theft and related crimes. The Legislature further finds that

 6  this exemption is a public necessity in order to prevent the

 7  use of such information in forged documents demonstrating

 8  entitlement to abandoned or unclaimed property and thereby

 9  defrauding the rightful property owner or the State School

10  Fund. Release of a person's personal photographic

11  identification is of concern due to the ability to use

12  personal photographic identification to obtain access to an

13  individual's personal records, whether such records are

14  financial, educational, medical, or familial in nature.

15  Concerns by the public over the release of personal

16  photographic identifications that are in the custody of the

17  Department of Financial Services has created a reluctance by

18  some members of the public to claim their unclaimed property.

19  Making personal photographic identification exempt from

20  disclosure will reduce public fears of identity theft and

21  promote the goal of returning unclaimed property to owners.

22  Therefore, the harm from disclosure outweighs any public

23  benefit obtained from the release of such information.

24         (4)  The Legislature finds that it is a public

25  necessity that the Department of Financial Services use the

26  most current and efficient database resources in a

27  cost-effective manner to notify owners of unclaimed property,

28  to verify whether claimants are entitled to unclaimed

29  property, and in order to prevent unclaimed property fraud and

30  related crimes. The Legislature further finds that this

31  exemption is a public necessity in order to help prevent

                                  10

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    Florida Senate - 2004                    CS for CS for SB 2290
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 1  criminal elements from successfully using forged documents or

 2  erroneous information demonstrating entitlement to abandoned

 3  or unclaimed property, thereby defrauding the rightful

 4  property owner or the State School Fund. Making such databases

 5  confidential will reduce the concerns of vendors, due to

 6  federal legislation, about the public release of such

 7  information.  Accordingly, the harm from disclosure outweighs

 8  any public benefit obtained from the release of such

 9  information.

10         (5)(a)  The Legislature finds that it is a public

11  necessity that information received or created during an

12  investigation or examination conducted by the Department of

13  Financial Services pursuant to chapter 717, Florida Statutes,

14  including any consumer complaint, be confidential and exempt

15  from section 119.07(1), Florida Statutes, and Section 24(a),

16  Article I of the State Constitution until the investigation or

17  examination is completed or ceases to be active or if the

18  department submits the information to any law enforcement or

19  administrative agency or regulatory organization for further

20  investigation and that agency's or organization's

21  investigation is completed or ceases to be active, in order to

22  protect the integrity of such investigations or examinations.

23  An investigation or examination may lead to filing an

24  administrative, civil, or criminal proceeding or to denying or

25  conditionally granting a license, registration, or permit. The

26  public necessity exists to the extent disclosure might

27  jeopardize the integrity of another active investigation or

28  examination; reveal the name, address, telephone number,

29  social security number, or any other identifying information

30  of any complainant, customer, or account holder subject to the

31  provisions of section 717.1171, Florida Statutes; disclose the

                                  11

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    Florida Senate - 2004                    CS for CS for SB 2290
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 1  identity of a confidential source; disclose investigative

 2  techniques or procedures; reveal a trade secret as defined in

 3  section 688.002, Florida Statutes; or reveal proprietary

 4  business information. The Legislature further finds that

 5  financial incentives are adequate to ensure the expeditious

 6  completion of examination of holders under section 17.20(3),

 7  Florida Statutes.

 8         (b)  The Legislature finds that it is a public

 9  necessity that examination and investigation lists be

10  confidential to ensure that the integrity of the process is

11  not compromised so that the investigation or examination may

12  be conducted as efficiently and effectively as possible and so

13  that persons will not be able to target holders subject to

14  examination or investigation for the purpose of advising

15  holders on how to avoid reporting and remitting unclaimed

16  property. The Legislature further finds that the harm from

17  disclosure outweighs any public benefit obtained from the

18  release of such information.

19         (c)  Examinations and investigations by the department

20  frequently involve the gathering of personal, sensitive

21  information concerning individuals, such as complainants,

22  customers, account holders, or other confidential sources. The

23  department may not otherwise have this information in its

24  possession but for the examination or investigation. Because

25  of the sensitive nature of the information gathered, the

26  information should not be made available to the public. If

27  disclosed, this information may cause unwarranted damage to

28  such persons by facilitating identity theft or jeopardizing

29  the safety of such individuals.

30         (d)  Revealing investigative techniques or procedures

31  may inhibit the effective and efficient administration of the

                                  12

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    Florida Senate - 2004                    CS for CS for SB 2290
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 1  department to conduct investigations. Revelation of such

 2  techniques or procedures could allow a person to hide or

 3  conceal violations of law that would have otherwise been

 4  discovered during and examination or investigation. As such,

 5  the department's ability to perform an effective investigation

 6  or examination may be hindered.

 7         (e)  Proprietary information or trade secrets are on

 8  occasion necessary for the office to review as part of an

 9  ongoing examination or investigation. Disclosure of such

10  information to the public may cause injury to the affected

11  entity in the marketplace if revealed. Providing the

12  confidentiality will provide the department with the necessary

13  tool to perform its function while maintaining adequate

14  protection for the affected business.

15         Section 8.  This act shall take effect October 1, 2004,

16  if CS for CS for SB 2288, or substantially similar

17  legislation, is adopted in the same legislative session or an

18  extension thereof and becomes law.

19  

20          STATEMENT OF SUBSTANTIAL CHANGES CONTAINED IN
                       COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR
21                       CS Senate Bill 2290

22                                 

23  
    Provides that:
24  
    -    Lists of holders under investigation or examination are
25       confidential and exempt from public records.

26  -    Only an investigation or an examination of a person other
         than a holder can be considered active, for purposes of
27       determining when the exemption ceases.

28  -    Legislative intent indicating public necessity includes
         making examination and investigation lists confidential
29       to ensure integrity of the process, maximize efficiency
         and effectiveness, and to prevent persons from contacting
30       holders subject to examination and investigation to
         advise them on avoiding reporting and remittance of
31       unclaimed property.

                                  13

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