Final Decision FIC2013-370
In the Matter of a Complaint by
||Docket #FIC 2013-370|
Chief, Police Department, Town of
Hamden; and Police Department, Town of
April 23, 2014
The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on December 19, 2013, at which time the complainant and the respondents appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint.
After consideration of the entire record, the following facts are found and conclusions of law are reached:
1. The respondents are public agencies within the meaning of §1-200(1), G.S.
2. It is found that on May 22, 2013, the complainant requested copies of “dates, times, and ID’s that accessed case #1100013387.”
3. By letter filed June 19, 2013, the complainant appealed to this Commission, alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act by failing to provide him with the records he requested.
4. Section 1-200(5), G.S., provides:
Public records or files means any recorded data or information relating to the conduct of the public's business prepared, owned, used, received or retained by a public agency, …whether such data or information be handwritten, typed, tape-recorded, printed, photostated, photographed or recorded by any other method.
5. Section 1-210(a), G.S., provides, in relevant part:
Except as otherwise provided by any federal law or state statute, all records maintained or kept on file by any public agency, whether or not such records are required by any law or by any rule or regulation, shall be public records and every person shall have the right to … (3) receive a copy of such records in accordance with section 1-212.
6. Section 1-212(a), G.S., provides in relevant part: “Any person applying in writing shall receive, promptly upon request, a plain, facsimile, electronic or certified copy of any public record.”
7. It is concluded that the records requested by the complainant are public records within the meaning of §§1-200(5), 1-210(a), and 1-212(a), G.S.
8. It is found that at least some of the records of case #1100013387 are digital, and the complainant seeks records showing the date, time, and “IDs” of access to such digital case files.
9. It is found that on July 5, 2013, the respondents provided records that indicate the dates and times that the digital files of case #1100013387 were accessed electronically.
10. It is found that the respondents redacted the User Identifications – known colloquially as “user ids” -- from such records, claiming that §1-210(b)(20), G.S., exempts such information from mandatory disclosure.
11. Section 1-210(b)(20), G.S., provides that the FOI Act does not require disclosure of “Records of standards, procedures, processes, software and codes, not otherwise available to the public, the disclosure of which would compromise the security or integrity of an information technology system[.]”
12. It is found that the User Identifications that the respondents redacted are codes that are not otherwise available to the public.
13. It is found that disclosure of such user identification codes would provide one-half of the credentials needed to log onto the respondents’ information technology system. *
*The respondents' sole evidence consisted of an affidavit of a person not present at the hearing and thus unavailable for questioning. Such evidence barely satisfies the respondents' burden of proof, and is not recommended.
14. It is found, therefore, that disclosure of the user identification codes would compromise the security or integrity of the respondents’ information technology system, within the meaning of §1-210(b)(20), G.S.
15. At the hearing in this matter, the complainant clarified that by “IDs,” he did not necessarily mean the user identification codes, but intended to learn the identity of people who accessed case #1100013387.
16. It is found, however, that, except for the user identifications contained in (and redacted from) the records provided to the complainant, the respondents do not maintain any record that indicates the names or other identification of people who accessed case #1100013387.
17. Accordingly, it is concluded that the respondents did not violate the FOI Act as alleged by the complainant.
The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the record concerning the above-captioned complaint:
1. The complaint is dismissed.
Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of April 23, 2014.
Cynthia A. Cannata
Acting Clerk of the Commission
PURSUANT TO SECTION 4-180(c), G.S., THE FOLLOWING ARE THE NAMES OF EACH PARTY AND THE MOST RECENT MAILING ADDRESS, PROVIDED TO THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION, OF THE PARTIES OR THEIR AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE.
THE PARTIES TO THIS CONTESTED CASE ARE:
147 Hogs Back Road
Oxford, CT 06478
Chief, Police Department, Town of Hamden; and
Police Department, Town of Hamden
c/o Susan Gruen, Esq.
Office of the Town Attorney
2750 Dixwell Avenue
Hamden, CT 06518
Cynthia A. Cannata
Acting Clerk of the Commission