Author: Laura Riddick
RALEIGH -- Wake County’s Register of Deeds Office has redacted citizens’ personal identifying information from 50 years of property records on the Registry web site, and is continuing the effort for documents dating back to 1950, Register of Deeds Laura M. Riddick said.
The Registry staff has been steadily redacting personal identifying information such as federal Social Security numbers and state driver’s license numbers from its public property records online, in accordance with N.C.G.S. § 132-1.10.
So far, Riddick said, her office has removed 51,529 items of personal information from various documents covering a 50-year range for the years 1961-2010.*
Given Registry’s large volume of documents and its staffing cuts of the past few years, it will take a couple of years of methodical work to finish the redaction project, Riddick said. But as with the Registry’s online records, which date from 1785 to the present – the largest such free property records database in the state – the office will complete the initiative expeditiously and efficiently, she said.
What's more, Riddick said, the Registry is carrying out the project in-house with its own redaction software program and staffing, instead of turning to an outside contractor. That has saved Wake County taxpayers more than $1 million, she said.
Riddick, first elected to the office in 1996, is serving her fourth term. The Registry web site is http://rod.wakegov.com/.
[Redaction legal authority: N.C.G.S. § 132-1.10(f1) Without a request made pursuant to subsection (f) of this section, a register of deeds or clerk of court may remove from an image or copy of an official record placed on a register of deeds' or clerk of court's Internet Web site available to the general public, or placed on an Internet Web site available to the general public used by a register of deeds or clerk of court to display public records, a person's social security or driver’s license number contained in that official record. Registers of deeds and clerks of court may apply optical character recognition technology or other reasonably available technology to official records placed on Internet Web sites available to the general public in order to, in good faith, identify and redact social security and driver’s license numbers.]
* Note: The Wake County Register of Deeds began the redaction project in 2010 and worked steadily through previous years to remove social security and driver's license numbers from recorded documents.