From: Freeman, Robert (DOS)
Sent: Friday, June 15, 2007 9:20 AM
I have received your inquiry concerning rights of access to responses of a survey, and I believe that there are several possibilities. If the recipients were informed that their responses would be made available, they would be accessible under the Freedom of Information Law. If the responses are anonymous, they, too, would be available. On the other hand, if respondents were given no indication that their names and/or addresses would be disclosed, and those items are included in the responses, it is likely in my opinion that a court would determine that those or other personally identifying details may be withheld on the ground that disclosure would result in “an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy” [Freedom of Information Law, §87(2)(b)].
I hope that I have been of assistance.
Robert J. Freeman
NYS Committee on Open Government
41 State Street
Albany, NY 12231
(518) 474-1927 - fax