From: Freeman, Robert J (DOS)
Sent: Thursday, June 09, 2016 12:07 PM
Cc: Subject: RE: Freedom of Information Request No. 305-16
I spoke with the Town Attorney to discuss the matter. In short, the introductory language of §89(2)(b) of FOIL indicates that the provisions that follow are examples of unwarranted invasions of personal privacy, and I have referred them often as six among conceivable dozens of instances in which disclosure would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. I have also suggested publicly on many occasions that the standard is flexible, that attendant facts are often important in determining whether records or portions of records may be withheld, that society’s beliefs regarding privacy are different today than they were twenty years ago, and that they are constantly changing.
With particular respect to email addresses, again, often facts are key in attempting to determine to disclose or deny access, and within this office, there have been disparate points of view regarding disclosure of email addresses.
The provision relating to the certification involves the ability to withhold a list of names and addresses when the list would be used for solicitation or fund-raising purposes. Again, that is merely an example of an instance in which disclosure would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. In my view, a list of email addresses of residents is similar and, therefore, it was suggested to the Town Attorney that it would be consistent with the thrust of the list provision coupled with the certification requirement to require a certification relative to a request for a list of email addresses.
Often reasonable people agree to disagree.