Freedom-of-information activist wins legal fight with county

A Minneapolis freedom-of-information activist has claimed victory in his long-running legal battle to see emails from the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office pertaining to biometric technologies.

The Minnesota Supreme Court on Wednesday largely backed Tony Webster, who said the county violated Minnesota's open records law when it denied him access to emails he requested in 2015. He had wanted to learn about how the sheriff's office uses biometrics, including facial recognition technologies.

The county said his requests were too burdensome. An administrative law judge sided with Webster.

Webster tweets the ruling means he'll get to see the data 2 1/2 years after asking for it.

The Minnesota Coalition on Government Information awarded Webster its 2017 John R. Finnegan Freedom of Information award for his efforts to increase public access to government data.

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