According to firm Privacy & Data Security Practice Group Chair Peter J. Guffin, the proposed “Digital Court Records Access Act,” while providing a useful starting point, “falls far short of meeting its stated purpose ‘to provide a comprehensive framework for public access to digital court records maintained by the Maine Judicial Branch.’”
Peter points out that the Act “narrowly addresses a very singular set of issues involving individual case files,” and “fails to address a number of privacy, transparency, data security, and access-to-justice issues, many of which are equally if not more critical for Maine citizens.”
Peter provides additional commentary and analysis on the Act in areas including:
- Separation of powers
- Burden of proof
- Maine Judicial Branch accountability and citizen redress
Peter concludes that the Maine Judicial Branch should either not present the Act to the Legislature, or postpone submitting it until “more information has been provided to the public and members of the Bar” about how it plans to address the Act’s omissions.
Peter Guffin is chair of Pierce Atwood’s Privacy & Data Security Practice Group, a Visiting Professor of Practice at the University of Maine School of Law, and co-director of the school’s Privacy Law Program. Peter is a frequent speaker and author on issues of privacy and cybersecurity.