Public Employee Data-snooping Bill Before Governor

Updated: 05/19/2014 4:30 PM
Created: 05/19/2014 4:23 PM

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Public employees who snoop in private information could soon face tougher consequences if they're caught.

A bill on Gov. Mark Dayton's desk mandates that only public workers whose jobs require they should be looking at someone's private data may do so. It would be a misdemeanor for a public employee to willfully acquire non-public data.

The legislation would also require public agencies to report on any snooping incident and make the report available to the citizen affected.

House and Senate members from both parties say governments have to improve their ability to keep track of snooping. The legislation is fallout from highly publicized cases in recent years, including a Department of Natural Resources employee accused of improper driver's license lookups some 19,000 times.

Dayton hasn't said whether he'll sign it.

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