Protecting residents’ privacy

​In addition to changes to the Freedom of Information Act, the bill the S.C. Legislature enacted last May, H3352, also made a notable change to the Family Privacy Protection Act.

Previously, it was illegal to knowingly acquire personal information from the state government or one of its agencies for commercial solicitation. But now, the law expands that offense to include local governments and political subdivisions. That means municipalities must not only provide notice of the prohibition to requesting parties but must also take steps to ensure that no individual or entity "obtains or distributes" such information for commercial solicitation.

So you received a request for documents containing personal information. What do you do next? First ask: Is what is being sought really personal information?

Family Privacy Protection Act flowchart (download high-res version)