I have visited many Florida State Parks over the last few years. Did you know if you have, your personal information can be made public?
When visiting one of the 164 Florida State Parks, you most likely provided the park service with your personal information. If you rented a campsite , a canoe or held an event in a park, the Florida Park Service has your name, address, phone number and email.
On Monday, May 1, 2017, an email went out to over 200,000 visitors of the state parks from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, asking if they want to exempt their name, address and phone number from a public record search. Due to Florida’s extremely broad public records laws, this information becomes available during a public records request. A request was made by the Radey Law Firm in Tallahassee for all Florida visitors to the state’s parks over the last five years. When I looked at their website they appear to practice regulatory law. Interesting? What do they want with our data?
Florida Department of Environmental Protection Email about visiting Florida State Parks
You are receiving this email because you are a Florida Resident and visited an award-winning Florida State Park within the past five years.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection recently received a public records request pursuant to Florida’s Public Records Law (Article I, section 24, Florida Constitution and Chapter 119, Florida Statutes) for names, addresses, telephone numbers, and email addresses of all Florida residents visiting a Florida State Park in the past five years. Florida’s broad Public Records Law, in the absence of an exemption, applies to all materials received by a State agency in connection with official business. Therefore, we are obligated to release the requested information unless an exemption applies.
Your address and telephone number may be exempt from public records disclosure under Section 119.071(4)(d), Florida Statutes, if you are a current or former law enforcement officer, other covered employee, or the spouse or child of one. If your information is exempt under this or any other applicable Statute and you wish to maintain the exemption please select the link below before May 15, 2017 so we can redact the exempt information.
The idea was to give law enforcement officers and other government employees exempt from public records disclosure, a chance to have their names redacted from the public records report given to The Radey Law Firm . If you believe you qualify for an exemption, you have until May 15 to submit a request. To do this, click this LINK. Or you can call the Florida State Park Statewide Information Line at 850-245-2157.
I will be keeping an eye out for the reason for the records request and let you all know if I find out why it was made.