PRIA Announces Approval of Redaction Best Practices Paper

December 16, 2014

The Board of Directors of the Property Records Industry Association (PRIA) has given final approval to the Redaction Best Practices paper produced by the Records Access & Privacy Policy Committee.

“Amid continuing concerns and challenges balancing the public's access to information with an individual's right to privacy, PRIA’s Records Access & Privacy Policy Committee consulted and collaborated with industry partners and stakeholders to produce these best practices,” said Mark Ladd, president of PRIA and vice president of regulatory and industry affairs for Simplifile.

The best practices address the availability of information about individuals contained in land records maintained by recorders and the technical solutions of redaction. Land records by definition are public records, and in many jurisdictions, there are few restrictions on the release of public records. This paper sets forth redaction best practices for policymakers and recorders.  The paper is intended as a resource tool for legislators prior to proposing legislation and for recorders as they begin to address redaction.

Redaction is the most common solution for concealing personally identifiable data in the public record from public view.  This solution allows sensitive, private, or confidential information that is exempt by law from disclosure to be covered in a manner that does not distort the meaning of the record. 

“This paper provides background on redaction issues and suggests ways to move forward collaboratively with all the parties involved,” said Carol Foglesong, Government Sector Committee co-chair and assistant comptroller in Orange County, Fla. We also wanted it to provide in depth practical approaches for the recorders.” 

PRIA’s Social Security Number and Privacy Protection Act (SSNAPP Act) provides guidance to both the recorders and legislators, defining Personally Identifiable Information (PII) as “one or more of the following specific unique identifiers when combined with an individual’s name: (1) Social Security Number, (2) driver's license number or state identification card number, (3) financial institution account number, credit, debit or charge card number, and (4) date of birth.”

“These best practices are also important to the business sector since verifying the chain of title to property is a lynch pin for borrowing capital and moving the economy forward,” observed Steve McDonald of RedVision and Business Sector Committee co-chair.

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