Government Scrambles to Take Personal Documents Offline
Across the country, state and local officials are scrambling to remove documents from the Internet.
Allegheny County, Pennsylvania
Two years ago, a Judge's Family was murdered in their Chicago home resulting in 100 judges in Allegheny County demanding their their own names be removed from the county website. Now private citizens will have the same protection ...
Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir has halted publishing the County's document images on the Internet, citing concerns about revealing individual citizens' personal data.
Contains Personal Information
According to Reagan Dunn, a councilman for the county.
"Clearly this is an avenue that people have been using to perpetrate identity theft," Dunn said. "It's not thousands of records; it's actually millions of records, millions of pages of records that we have online here in our index.
County Removes Records from the Web
According to a report from KOBTV-4, county officials removed the information from the Internet because they feared that identity thieves could exploit the records from anywhere they had online access. The documents are expected to remain offline, according to a county spokesperson.
Suffolk County, New York
Judith Pascale, the acting county clerk for Suffolk County, New York recently released a statement announcing that her office has blocked access to its online land records following reports that its constituents' Social Security numbers were contained in various documents.
off Allegheny County real estate Web site
Though the decision was made by County Chief Executive Dan Onorato, the initial request to remove the names of judges came from the other end of Grant Street from Chief U.S. District Judge Donetta W. Ambrose.
Ambrose, concerned after the murder of a federal judge's family in Chicago
in February . . .
Website Flap Impacts any public office handling records containing
The county’s domestic relations judges clashed with the Clerk of Courts Office over the posting of divorce documents on the clerk’s Web site. At issue were Social Security numbers and other sensitive information contained in court documents which are Public Records and were posted online. That drove the judges to remove all domestic relations information from the public’s view on the clerk’s Web site — over the protests of Clerk Cindy Carpenter
records available still, but not online
San Bernadino County, California
Monday, August 08, 2005 - A state law
passed several years ago has San Bernardino County officials blocking
property information on the Internet . ..
States across the USA are furiously removing sensitive data from official websites.
The task highlights challenges facing states with sites full of personal information on residents, from Social Security numbers to bank account numbers.
Scanned documents pulled off Web site
The Lorain County Recorder's Office removed scanned public documents from its Web site yesterday in response to a recent uproar over the possibility of identity theft.
County Recorder Removes Imaged Documents from Online Database
On March 23, 2006, Judith Nedwick, the county recorder for Lorain County, Ohio pulled the images of public documents from the county office's Website in an effort to protect Lorain's residents from being exposed to identity theft. The records, which have been online since July 2005, allegedly contained Social Security numbers and many people had alerted Nedwick that this may have put them in danger for having their identities stolen.
According to a statement released by Judith Pascale, the acting county clerk for Suffolk County, New York, the county is highly concerned about invading the privacy of others and, thus, acted to safeguard those living in the county from online exposure.
Senator pushes for data inquiry
Sensitive: When private info is compromised, the public needs to know - quickly
Ingham County, Michigan
This week, Ingham County Register of Deeds Paula Johnson will take 3.5 million images of public documents off line, just weeks after the office became the state's first deeds office to make such documents available online. We'd like to see that sort of timely decision-making replicated in other parts of government, since some bureaucrats are willing to gamble with innocent citizens' identities.
Judge orders removal of deeds from WebMonmouth County, New Jersey
Until Lehrer signed his order, all deeds and mortgages recorded in the county since 1996 were available on the Internet
Reno Co. lax with SS numbers
Reno County, Kansas
The Social Security number belonging to the county's top law enforcement officer, Sheriff Randy Henderson, is available in Public Records. . .
Personnel data did go to India
Site makes identity theft possible, lawsuit says
A Brown County man filed a class action lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati on Thursday demanding that Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell immediately stop posting on his Web site documents containing Ohioans' Social Security numbers.
Ohioans' info onlineResponding to a reader tip, the Enquirer checked certain records on Secretary of State Ken Blackwell's site. The Enquirer is withholding the exact type of data to protect people from identity theft.
“It is a travesty that our elected officials don’t show
more concern for the taxpayers they represent,’’ Engel said.
County to study I.D. theft prevention
The county itself could be a target, since it collects and retains records that may include Social Security numbers or credit card numbers.
Ohio Official Redacts Sensitive Information from Online Database
Ronald Gerberry, the county recorder in Mahoning County, Ohio is not required by state law to post the county's various Public Records online, but he has done so in order make it easier and cheaper for title examiners, lawyers and others to check information within the county's register. . . . The numbers are most prominent in the other documents, such as oil and gas well leases, soldiers' discharge papers, federal tax liens and power of attorney records.
Court clerks ask for help in ensuring our privacy
The bill to remove private information stems from a 2002 law requiring county clerks to put records online, giving potential identity thieves an easier way to find personal information.
"There's no way, with the time and effort that it would require, even with a county our size — forget Miami-Dade or Orlando or somewhere big," she said. "If we were required to ensure that every exemption to the statute were not in documents, it would break the state. The cost would be exorbitant."