Alaska does have one generally applicable law relating to the disposition and "breach" of a person's personal information and to the acquisition, use, and handling of social security numbers (SSNs) and credit card numbers. Apart from that law, the legal landscape in Alaska is similar to federal law. There are a number of statutes and regulations relating to particular types of information and institutions, but no overarching law relating to the acquisition and use of personal information. Institutions in Alaska wishing to identify their responsibilities, and Alaskans wishing to know their rights, might find the following laws and regulations helpful.
Find the text of the cited statues and regulations at http://www.legis.state.ak.us/basis/folio.asp.
Alaska Personal Information Protection Act - AS 45.48 – Applies to businesses, government agencies, or people/companies with 10 or more employees. Just some of the Act's requirements follow:
Alaska Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Act - AS 45.50.471-561 – Identifies a number of unlawful business practices, some of which could possibly apply to conduct relating to the acquisition, use, and handling of personal information. For example, the Act prohibits “conduct creating a likelihood of confusion or of misunderstanding and which misleads, deceives or damages a buyer or a competitor in connection with the sale or advertisement of goods or services.” Also, the Act specifically identifies certain breaches of AS 45.48.010--45.48.090 (see above) as unfair business practices. See http://www.law.state.ak.us/department/civil/consumer/4550471.html.
Alaska Public Records Act - AS 40.25.110 – Unless provided otherwise, public records of state and municipal public agencies are open to inspection by the public. "Public records" include those “developed or received by a public agency, or by a private contractor for a public agency, and that are preserved for their informational value or as evidence of the organization or operation of the public agency...”
Notice relating to request of personal information AS 40.25.300 – Requires state agencies requesting personal information that may be included in a public record to provide notice to that person. This requirement does not apply to information exempt from AS 40.25.110, and Alaska law includes many such exemptions. “Personal Information” is “information that can be used to identify a person and from which judgments can be made about a person's character, habits, avocations, finances, occupation, general reputation, credit, health, or other personal characteristics, but does not include a person's name, address, or telephone number, if the number is published in a current telephone directory, or information describing a public job held by a person.” The notice must identify the agency, statute or regulation authorizing the request for information, the anticipated use of the information, a statement indicating whether the person must supply the information, consequences for noncompliance, the fact that the information may be subject to inspection and copying under AS 40.25.110-120, and the right to challenge accuracy and completeness of the information. Different forms of notice may suffice, including, for example, placing it on a form used to request the information. [Note: this section of the Alaska Statutes only applies to state agencies. Check Alaska municipal codes for similar provisions.]
Alaska statues and regulations include some exemptions from the open records provisions of AS 40.25.110-120 and some express requirements that personal information or communications be kept confidential. Just some of the exemptions/requirements under Alaska law include:
Alaska Statutes and regulations also include some requirements relating to privacy and confidentiality in specific industries and professions. Some examples include:
Evesdropping - AS 42.20.310 - Prohibits use of "an eavesdropping device to hear or record all or any part of an oral conversation without the consent of a party to the conversation." Eavesdropping devices are broadly defined to include "any device capable of being used to hear or record oral conversation whether the conversation is conducted in person, by telephone, or by any other means..."
Tort and Contract Law
This summary was prepared by librarians for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide legal advice.
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