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Property Records Industry Association Calls National Meeting To Address Personal Information Privacy Issues

January 10, 2003

A national conference to address growing concerns about personal information privacy issues related to individual identifying information contained in real property records is being organized by the Property Records Industry Association.

Recent issues such as the availability of social security numbers and other individual identifying information in military discharge papers and other documents and files available to the public from local recording offices are prompting lawmakers to re-examine open records policies, with special emphasis on recently expanded Internet access to indexes to and images of publicly recorded documents.

PRIA believes the real estate industry should take the lead in trying to develop a national consensus among the public and private professionals in the real estate industry with respect to the personal information privacy issues raised by the availability of individual identifying information in these kinds of public records. The objective of the conference is to bring consumer advocates and the real estate industry from across the United States together to clarify these issues with respect to real estate records as a basis for the industry deliberating to find practical ways through private industry initiatives and appropriate legislation that balances personal information privacy concerns with necessary access to publicly recorded land information on which our private ownership economy is based, said Carl Ernst, co-chair of PRIA's Records Access Policy Committee.

PRIA plans to invite government leaders at the state and national levels, as well as local officials including land recorders, assessors, and tax collectors and representatives of the major components of the real estate industry such as realty, mortgage, title and lending firms.

The conference is planned to take place on February 26, 2003 in Washington, D.C. at the Hyatt Grand Hotel, 1000 H Street NW, Washington D.C.

The PRIA Records Access Policy Committee is co-chaired by Carl Ernst of Ernst Publishing and Steve McDonald, Lancaster County Recorder, PA

Source: Property Records Industry Association

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