Lawmaker wants to restrict access to birth certificate data

Published 7:22 am Monday, April 20, 2015

ST. PAUL — A Minnesota lawmaker wants to restrict public access to parental contact information listed on birth certificates, citing privacy concerns.

Sen. Kathy Sheran, DFL-Mankato, said she wants to prevent companies from collecting the email addresses, home addresses and phone numbers that parents list on birth certificates.

Sheran told Minnesota Public Radio News she is concerned about privacy. “We’re starting to pay much more attention to data collection and how data is used,” she said.

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Sheran attached the measure to a broader bill that covers vital statistics. Her amendment would allow researchers, news media and others to continue to access the information on birth certificates.

Supporters say the measure is aimed at protecting parents from being bombarded with mailings after a child is born. But opponents say the measure would put the lid on information that’s been considered public for more than a century.