Local Politics

Bill would remove personal information from online property records

Posted March 25, 2009

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— A state senator has proposed a change to the way county records are published as a way to better protect personal information from identity thieves.

When county registers of deeds publish property information online, those documents may contain Social Security numbers, checking account numbers and drivers' license numbers.

A WRAL investigation found thousands of online records that contained personal information.

The state's Identity Theft Protection Act, passed in 2005, only allows a register of deeds to remove a Social Security or bank account number at a citizen's request. The burden is on the individual, many of whom don't realize they need to make the request.

State Senator David Rouzer will introduce a bill to allow a registrar of deeds to redact that information without a request.

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  • FE Mar 25, 2009

    FE - Can you tell me where the Clerk of Court documents online are? I didn't know they were available online and it would make my job a lot easier. -way2go

    Well, at least for WAKE County:

    http://web.co.wake.nc.us/rdeeds/

    Click on "Direct Link to BOOKS! Search Page"

    FE

  • way2go Mar 25, 2009

    There are tons of documents recorded with the Register of Deeds that contain personal information, especially on a deed of trust. I think it would be a great idea if the offices can redact that information.

    FE - Can you tell me where the Clerk of Court documents online are? I didn't know they were available online and it would make my job a lot easier.

  • ranquick Mar 25, 2009

    what happens if one I is stolen in this matter, does the County cover the expense, I doubt it. Something does need to be done and whatever the action required should be a burden on the State and County and not from taxes to pay someone to watch this how info is entered into the database.

  • Kilroy Mar 25, 2009

    "Ya, bout' time. I shouldn't be able to look up anyone's address or how much they paid for their house on-line. It's a breach of privacy."

    That's not what they are talking about removing.....addresses are in the phonebook or online (switchboard.com).

  • whatelseisnew Mar 25, 2009

    It is all counties - we are talking about a state law. Unless of course there are counties that do not have any records online. This entire problem of course was created by Government. What we need is a law banning most places from even asking for SS numbers.

  • WRALblows Mar 25, 2009

    Ya, bout' time. I shouldn't be able to look up anyone's address or how much they paid for their house on-line. It's a breach of privacy.

  • time4real Mar 25, 2009

    good idea, how come this isn't already a done deal!

  • Piny tek Mar 25, 2009

    Bout time!

  • FE Mar 25, 2009

    That's interesting -

    I've spent a lot of time visiting various county websites (mostly property tax information) and have NEVER encountered "those documents may contain Social Security numbers, checking account numbers and drivers' license numbers" as reported in the article.

    OTOH, many DOCUMENTS filed with the Clerk of Court are available online (they are PUBLIC records, you know!) so perhaps that is what is being cited.

    FE

  • speedy Mar 25, 2009

    GREAT reporting....could we maybe clarify WHICH county? Should we ASSUME it's Johnston only? ALL counties?