A fight about whether the birth dates of about 145,000 state workers are public record reached the Texas Supreme Court on Thursday, with a newspaper and the state attorney general pushing for their release.
Standing in their way is Texas Comptroller Susan Combs, who argues releasing birth dates could lead to identity theft.
The case has been brewing since 2005 when The Dallas Morning News requested an updated state payroll database. Then-Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn released most of it, but excluded birth dates, offering to list workers’ ages instead.
The newspaper said it needs the birth dates to distinguish workers with the same name.
Read more of this story from Associated Press.
One of the statements in the full news story is that open records advocates argue that there is little risk for identity theft, particularly financial fraud which relies on Social Security numbers and financial data. In light of Acquisti and Gross’s research showing how date of birth plus one more piece of information is often sufficient to enable figuring out an individual’s Social Security number, do you agree with open records advocates on this?
Related: Texas Comptroller vs. Attorney General of Texas: http://www.supreme.courts.state.tx.us/ebriefs/files/20080172.htm