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N.C. lawmakers would consider changes to ID theft law

Posted October 21, 2008

— State lawmakers said Tuesday they would consider changing a law that allows documents be posted online without redacting information that could lead to identity theft.

The North Carolina Identity Theft Protection Act of 2005 was passed to protect consumers' personal information, such as Social Security numbers or bank account numbers, on public documents.

The law does not allow banks to put personal numbers on housing documents anymore, but it also does not require registers of deeds and clerk of courts to redact that type of information on public documents filed before the law went into effect.

Citizens can request that their information be redacted from documents posted on the Internet, but it still exists on the hard copies of the documents, to which anyone has access.

Counties cannot remove that information without a formal request.

"Clearly, there is still a problem out there," said Rep. Grier Martin, D-Wake, who co-sponsored the 2005 law.

Martin says that in light of recent concerns, he would support a review of the law to determine if changes are necessary.

Johnston County's Register of Deeds, Craig Olive, is demanding change. He has 22,000 online records with personal information, and he says software could redact it all at once.

If that is the case, Rep. Margaret Dickson, D-Cumberland, said, the 2005 legislation would be worth a second look.

Still, those close to the issue say other counties have complained about the manpower and money that would take and whether the software could even be accurate.

"They should just take it offline," said Michael, a Wake County citizen who asked that his last name not be revealed. He was alarmed to find his Social Security number in housing documents posted online.

"If they can't guarantee the safeness of it, they shouldn't have it on there and force everybody individually to go looking for it and know who to ask to take it off," Michael said.

The 2005 law did take several steps to protect consumers by allowing them to put a freeze on their credit reports. It also requires businesses to notify customers if there's a security breach. Businesses must also destroy records that contain personal information before throwing them out.


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  • dbcooper41 Oct 22, 2008

    identity theft is just like computer viruses. they mainly exist thanks to the efforts of those who sell services to protect against them. it's the basic mob protection scam.

  • Timetogo Oct 22, 2008

    If one of our legislators had their ID stolen and had to spend the money, frustration and time required to clear their credit, they'd take it more seriously!!

  • jdman Oct 22, 2008


  • coolwill Oct 22, 2008

    Not one character of our information should be available on line. I think it is insecurity at its best to have any of your home information online this include the picture as well as the floor plan on line floor everyone to view this includes foreign governments, anyone with the intent to invade. How about making it totally fair, put the banks and all government and business info out there as well.

  • Scubagirl Oct 22, 2008

    "Martin says that in light of recent concerns, he would support a review of the law to determine if changes are necessary."

    No need for a review! Changes are necessary and you don't need to spend money to determine that! Just pretend that the entire population has requested that their info be removed from both internet and paper and DO IT!

    There-that should save us taxpayers a bunch of money!

  • Adelinthe Oct 21, 2008

    What's frightening is that now when you apply for a Social Security card or to get your NC Driver's License renewed, they no longer put it in your hot little hand right at the facility.


    Now is that dumb or what!!!

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • imtiredofit Oct 21, 2008

    The lawmakers better hurry up and pass this thing, I'm ready to cast my votes in the next 2 weeks and whoever can get this passed will win my votes.

  • Myword Oct 21, 2008

    Fine, but if you pay for the right services there is very little private info that can't be gotten these days.

  • CrewMax Oct 21, 2008

    Legislators should treat this with the urgency and seriousness it