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Phoenix, Arizona

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Maricopa County Recorders Office Redacting Personal Information from Public Records

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A few months ago, I shared a concern that, despite warnings about unnecessary risks of exposing social security numbers and other personal information to identity theft, the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office continued to allow unfettered access to private confidential information on its web site. Thankfully, it appears that the County has been working toward a resolution of this problem. According to the Arizona Republic, in an effort to minimize identity theft risks, the County has been picking up the pace of its efforts to remove social security numbers and other personal confidential information from records it maintains on the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office web site.

The county hired a company to review all records maintained in the Maricopa County Recorder’s web site and black out all references to social security numbers. According to a county spokesperson, almost all records have been redacted and the redaction project will finish in July. I still believe that rather than allowing unlimited access to records maintained in its database, in response to a public records request, the County should have limited access to records for a day or two until it could review and redact confidential information. Hopefully these past few months have not proven to be a windfall for identity thieves looking for new victims and easy access to confidential information.