Posted on Oct 25, 1999 in Formal Opinions

Opinion Letter No. 99-06
October 25, 1999
Senior Mailing List

[OIP Op. Ltr. No. 05-03 partially overrules this opinion to the extent that it states or implies that the UIPA’s privacy exception in section 92F-13(1), HRS, either prohibits public disclosure or mandates confidentiality.]

A member of the public asked the County of Kauai Office of Elderly Affairs (“OEA”) for a copy of the names and addresses in its database. This information is collected by the OEA for, among other things, planning services and programs, statistical record-keeping, complying with reporting requirements to State and federal agencies, and identifying seniors who may benefit from services offered. The database does not differentiate between business and home addresses, it merely collects whatever address was supplied by each senior.

The OIP opined that home addresses need not be disclosed because disclosure would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. Disclosure of the addresses would not shed light on the workings of government. The OIP also opined that in cases where it cannot be determined whether a particular address is a business or home address, the address need not be disclosed. In addition, post office box numbers need not be disclosed because if the box is being used for business purposes, the United States Postal Service will disclose the name and address of the registered user of the box. This could lead to the discovery of an individual’s home address.

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