FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 7, 2019
CONTACT: Mark McCormick, Director of Strategic Communications, 913-490-4113, firstname.lastname@example.org
OVERLAND PARK, KS - In defense of former Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s Interstate Crosscheck program, which exposed the sensitive, personal information of hundreds of voters, state lawyers are now questioning whether citizens even have Constitutional rights to informational privacy, an ACLU of Kansas response filed Tuesday warns.
“The Tenth Circuit has consistently held that the government’s undue public disclosure of sensitive personal information violates the Fourteenth Amendment,” the ACLU wrote in response to the state’s Feb. 1 motion to dismiss.
The state’s argument amounts to an attempt to reverse three decades of informational privacy jurisprudence, said Lauren Bonds, interim executive director and legal director of the ACLU of Kansas.
“It’s not enough that Sec. Kobach’s flawed Crosscheck program left hundreds of Kansas voters vulnerable to identity theft by exposing sensitive data, but now they want to argue that they were legally authorized to do so,” Bonds said. “We vehemently disagree.”
Bonds said the question of whether people have constitutional rights to informational privacy is settled law.
“The Tenth Circuit’s stable treatment of informational privacy rights mirrors the consistency in the Supreme Court and its sister jurisdictions,” the ACLU of Kansas argues in its response.
The ACLU of Kansas filed its lawsuit against then-Sec. of State Kris Kobach and his Crosscheck program last June.
The case, Moore v. Kobach, centers on the Crosscheck program that Kobach has made a centerpiece of his efforts to reduce citizen participation in Kansas elections. Crosscheck is a data comparison program used to compare voter registration information among participating states.
Although had been offered free to participating states because Kansas taxpayers fully fund it through the Secretary of State’s office, a number of states have since opted out of the program in large part because of the security issues.
Defendant Kobach was uploading the sensitive personal information of 1.3 million Kansas voters to the FTP server and shared the sensitive personal information of more than 150,000 Kansas voters likely misidentified as possible double registrants via unencrypted email.
Plaintiffs brought this action to stop Sec. Kobach from continuing to maintain, share, and release their sensitive voter registration data as to remedy past disclosures.
Plaintiffs argue that defendant Kobach’s reckless maintenance and disclosure of their private voter data is an unconstitutional invasion of privacy and a violation of the Kansas Public Records Act, which prohibits government disclosure of social security numbers.
In addition to Scott Moore, James Long and Nancy Perry are named plaintiffs.
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About the ACLU of Kansas: The ACLU of Kansas is the statewide affiliate of the national American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU of Kansas is dedicated to preserving and advancing the civil rights and legal freedoms guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. For more information, visit our website at www.aclukansas.org