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California sells birth records of its citizens




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From: "Jeff Mazzella" <jmazzella@cfif.org>
To: "Declan McCullagh" <declan@well.com>
Subject: Califronia Selling Birth Records of their citizens
Date: Wed, 5 Dec 2001 10:30:30 -0500

Declan,

<http://www0.mercurycenter.com/premium/local/docs/privacy29.htm>http://www0.mercurycenter.com/premium/local/docs/privacy29.htm

I thought the politechbot readers would be interested in an article 
(attached above) that was published in the San Jose Mercury 
News.  Apparently the state of California is in the business of selling 
their citizens' birth records (in this case to an online genealogy company 
that posted the information on the web).  Access to such personal 
information, including a person's place of birth and mother's maiden name, 
could potentially be used by criminals to obtain false 
identities.  Furthermore, such info could potentially be used to access 
someone's bank account or medical information.  Pretty scary stuff.

After taking some heat from several groups, the website that purchased the 
information (<http://www.rootsweb.com>www.rootsweb.com) removed the removed 
it form their site, and posted a statement on its homepage stating, it was 
"committed to protecting the privacy of our customers."

I am curious to learn more about states selling such information.

Thanks,
Jeff




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