§ 40-9-17. Confidentiality of reports Authorized uses Penalty for disclosure.
(a) All reports mentioned in § 40-9-15 are hereby declared to constitute confidential matter. It shall be unlawful for any person to make use of, or cause to be used, any information contained in the reports for purposes not directly connected with the administration of services for people who are blind or visually impaired or the division of motor vehicles, except with the consent of the individual concerned.
(b) The director of human services shall have the power to establish rules and regulations governing the custody, use, and preservation of the reports, which shall have the same force and effect as law. The reports shall be produced in response to a subpoena duces tecum properly issued by any federal or state court; provided, however, that the purpose for which the subpoena is sought is directly connected with the administration of services for people who are blind or visually impaired. No subpoena shall be issued by a court asking either for the reports, or for persons having custody or access to the reports, unless the litigation involved in the matter is directly connected with the administration of services for people who are blind or visually impaired.
(c) Any person violating any of the provisions of this section, or the lawful rules and regulations made hereunder, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall be fined not more than two hundred dollars ($200) or shall be imprisoned for not more than six (6) months, or both.
(d) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to prohibit the director of the department of human services, or his or her agents duly authorized for that purpose, from issuing any statistical material or data, or publishing or causing the data to be published whenever he or she shall deem it to be in the public interest.
(P.L. 1966, ch. 223, § 1; P.L. 1968, ch. 105, § 2; G.L. 1956, § 40-11-17; Reorg. Plan No. 1, 1970; P.L. 1976, ch. 211, § 1; P.L. 1999, ch. 83, § 99; P.L. 1999, ch. 130, § 99; P.L. 2006, ch. 216, § 21.)