The removal of taxpayers’ sensitive personal identification from tax records held by King County has been made official.
The County Council this week formally accepted a committee’s recommendations for keeping information such as Social Security numbers out of the general public’s hands.
The Public Records Committee was created in May 2007 after Councilman Reagan Dunn reported thousands of real estate documents containing Social Security numbers of property owners were listed on the county recorder’s Web site. The council quickly ordered the documents to be removed from online viewing.
In addition, the council created the committee to make recommendations on how to safely post documents online without compromising the security of personal information.
In its first report to the council, the committee recommended keeping current restrictions on vulnerable documents.
The committee – whose members include representatives of the records and licensing services department, the council, the prosecuting attorney, the Sheriff Department, the assessor, the county courts system, the Office of Management and Budget, and the Office of Information Resource Management – also reported that many major government jurisdictions don’t post specific records online due to privacy concerns.
Following the committee’s recommendations will help protect the county from possible financial liabilities if citizens are harmed by their information being made available inapproprately, officials said.
Dunn, whose district includes Maple Valley and Covington, said the committee report confirmed “that personal information was at risk and takes the first step towards making sure that Social Security numbers will never be on the county’s Web site again.”