NJDEP Privacy Laws Violation - My9 New Jersey

NJDEP Privacy Laws Violation

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Jersey City, New Jersey (My9NJ) -

On Memorial Day, Chasing New Jersey’s Tamara Laine was enjoying a lovely day in Liberty State Park. When she returned to her vehicle, which was parked in a row of cars, she found a ticket on her windshield and that of the entire row of nearly 20 cars around her. When she got home to get online and pay the ticket she noticed what can only be described as a huge breach in personal identity security.

On the ticket were her social security number, her address, her driver’s license number, and everything a thief would need to steal someone’s identity. Baffled at how this could happen, she went to the City Clerk’s office in Jersey City who told her this ticket was issued by the parks police, which is overseen by the NJDEP.

NJDEP Press Director Larry Ragonese assured Laine that this was a rookie mistake. She was instead given a different type of violation summons “accidentally” not their normal parking ticket, and only five-tickets had been given out with social security numbers on them. To which he wouldn’t offer any proof, but did say that the problem was now fixed.

However, she was still scheduled a court date for the summons and was told by the clerk when she arrived that the ticket didn’t exist in the system.

As luck would have it, NJDEP Commissioner Bob Martin was touring Liberty State Park with Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno so Laine made the trip back to the “scene of the crime” to confront him about this privacy issue concerning her personal information being displayed on her windshield for anyone to see.

“Any minor issues we’ve gone back and verified with our parks police what the process is and just verified how they are gonna handle that going forward. So we’ve taken care of your issue specifically, but we’ve gone and trained back a couple of the officers that need to know exactly how they’re supposed to handle it in the future,” Martin assured.

Laine however was still uncomfortable with the fact that a rookie officer or anyone for that matter had access to things like her social security number without her even providing it or being present. In order to get down to the bottom of this Laine spoke with Edward Barocas with the ACLU. After showing him all the documentation he said this was an outrageous violation of personal information.

“This is disturbing. It’s concerning that the government would have, right on a form for a parking ticket, a social security number. The court in 2009, our highest New Jersey court, has said that social security numbers are something that people have a reasonable expectation of privacy,” he confirmed.

 

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