Guide for Data Subjects Requesting Data
The Minnesota Government Data Practices Act, per Minn. Stat. § 13, gives every individual important rights when state agencies collect, create, store, use, or release data about him or her. This guide explains how to use these rights at DEED.
Data about You
You are the subject of data when you can be identified from the data that DEED collects, creates, and keeps. "Government data" means all recorded information a government entity has, including paper, email, CD-ROMs, photographs, etc.
Classification of Data about You
The law presumes that all government data are public unless a state or federal law says that the data are not public. Data about you are classified by state law as public, private, or confidential.
- Public data: We must give public data to anyone who asks; it does not matter who is asking for the data or why.
- Private data: We cannot give private data to the general public, but you have access when the data is about you. We can share your private data with you, with someone who has your permission, with DEED staff who need the data to do their work, and with others as permitted by law or court order.
- Confidential data: Confidential data has the most protection. We cannot give members of the public any access to confidential data about you. Nor can we give you direct access to confidential data even when the confidential data is about you. We can share confidential data about you with DEED staff who need the data to do their work and to others as permitted by law or court order.
Your Rights under the Law
We must keep all government data in a way that makes it easy for you to access data about you. Also, we can collect and keep only the data about you that we need for administering and managing programs that are permitted by law. As a data subject, you have the following rights:
- When We Collect Data from You: When we ask you to provide data about yourself that is not public, we must give you a notice of your rights. The notice is called a Tennessen warning. The notice controls what we do with the data that we collect from you. Usually, we can use and release the data only in the ways described in the notice.
We will ask for your written permission if we need to use or release private data about you in a different way, or if you ask us to release the data to another person. This permission is called informed consent.
- Your Access to Your Data: You have the right to look at (inspect)—free of charge—public and private data that we keep about you. You also have the right to get copies of public and private data about you, but the law allows us to charge for copies. If you ask, we will tell you whether we keep data about you and whether the data is public, private, or confidential.
As a parent, you have the right to look at and get copies of public and private data about your minor children (under the age of 18). As a legally appointed guardian, you have the right to look at and get copies of public and private data about an individual for whom you are appointed guardian.
Minors have the right to ask us not to give data about themselves to their parent or guardian. If you are a minor, we will tell you that you have this right. We may ask you to put your request in writing and to include the reasons why we should deny your parents/guardian access to the data. We will make the final decision about your request based on your best interests. Note: Minors do not have this right if the data in question are educational data maintained by an educational agency or institution.
- Protecting your Data: The law requires us to protect your data. We have established appropriate safeguards to ensure that your data is safe. In the unfortunate event that we determine a security breach has occurred and an unauthorized person has gained access to your data, we will notify you as required by law.
- When your Data are Inaccurate and/or Incomplete: You have the right to challenge the accuracy and/or completeness of public and private data about you. You also have the right to appeal our decision. If you are a minor, your parent or guardian has the right to challenge data about you.
How to Make a Request for Your Data
To look at data or to request copies of data that we keep about you, your minor children, or an individual for whom you have been appointed legal guardian, make a written request to DEED's responsible authority. You may use the Request to Inspect and/or Copy Government Data form. If you choose not to use the form, your written request should include:
- A statement that you, as a data subject, are making a request for data about you under the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act, Minn. Stat. § 13.
- Whether you would like to look at the data, get copies of the data, or both.
- A clear description of the data you would like to inspect or have copied.
- Identifying information that proves you are the data subject or the data subject's parent/guardian.
We require proof of your identity before we can respond to your request for private data. If you are requesting data about your minor child, you must show proof that you are the minor's parent. If you are a guardian, you must show legal documentation of your guardianship. The following constitute proof of identity:
- For individuals:
- A valid photo ID, such as a state driver's license, military ID, passport, tribal ID, or school ID.
- For the parent or guardian of a minor:
- A valid photo ID and either:
- A certified copy of the minor's birth certificate; or
- A certified copy of documents that establish the parent or guardian's relationship to the child, such as a court order relating to divorce, separation, custody, foster care; a foster care contract; or an affidavit of parentage.
- For the legal guardian of an individual:
- A valid photo ID and a certified copy of appropriate documentation of formal or informal appointment as guardian, such as a court order or valid power of attorney.
Note: Individuals who do not exercise their data practices rights in-person must provide either notarized or certified copies of the documents that are required or an affidavit of ID.
How We Respond to a Data Request
Once you make your written request, we will work to process your request. If it is not clear what data you are requesting, we will ask you for clarification.
- If we do not have the data, we will notify you in writing within 10 business days.
- If we have the data, but the data is confidential or private data that is not about you, we will notify you in writing within 10 business days and state which specific law says you cannot access the data.
- If we have the data, and the data are public or private data about you, we will respond to your request within 10 business days, by doing one of the following:
- Arrange a date, time, and place to inspect data, for free, if your request is to look at the data, or
- Notify you of the requested data we have and any associated costs. You may choose to pick up your copies, or we will mail or fax them to you. We will provide electronic copies (such as email or CD-ROM) upon request if we keep the data in electronic format. DEED charges a fee for the actual costs of making the copies. If we are asked to mail copies, the fee will include postage. Payment must be made before copies are provided.
- If you do not understand some of the data (technical terminology, abbreviations, or acronyms), let us know; we will give you an explanation.
After we have provided you with access to data about you, we do not have to show you the data again for six months unless there is a dispute or we collect or create new data about you.
We are not required to create or collect new data in response to a data request if we do not already have the data, or to provide data in a specific form or arrangement if we do not keep the data in that form or arrangement (for example, if the data you request are only on paper, we are not required to create electronic documents to respond to your request). If we agree to create data in response to your request, we will work with you on the details of your request, including cost and response time. In addition, we are not required to respond to questions that are not requests for data.