Friday, June 5, 2009

Information please

A few years back when I was in the throes of divorce litigation, whenever a child of mine reached majority, the divorce lawyers would negotiate a new child support order at a cost of many thousands of dollars. Each new order that got entered into the public record carried my full name, address, date of birth and social security number. When I balked at signing such a privacy-wrecking document, I was told that unless the order contained this information, the desk clerk wouldn't accept it for filing. Then I wouldn't "benefit" from having my child support payments reduced by about a hundred dollars per month. (It's not smart to spend thousands to save hundreds. That's part of the estate-wrecking "game" of divorce that dispirits men.)

In Virginia that has changed and now social security numbers are contained in another court document which is filed under seal. But there are states that are more backwards than Virginia.

I know a person who recently ordered a copy of a marriage certificate from another state, a public record readily available to anyone. It was an outrageous treasure trove of personal information.

It listed the full name of the man and woman, along with each one's date and place of birth, social security number, current address, status (divorced or not and what month and year), and full mother's and father's names and status (dead or alive). It listed the full name and address of each witness.

Unbelievable.

8 comments:

CewTwo said...

It can be amazing the amount of information on a person that is freely available.

Dis-heartening, too!

Dori said...

I once signed up for a grocery card and they asked for SS# as a form of id. I balked and they used my phone number instead.

I recently had jury duty for a murder case. I was released, but I had to give my full name, spouse's full name, type of business we were in and the city we resided in. I'm glad I wasn't on the jury because it's a little intimidating to find someone guilty of murder and have them know where you live.

Susan said...

That is just SCARY. We should all thank our lucky stars that our identities have not (YET) been stolen.

Just_because_today said...

I recently went through on FBI investigation due to my dual citizenshipas the result of my employment with a federal organization. I had to disclose not only everything I do during my day and have done during the last 10 years but who I am associated with and who they are associated with and who those are associated with. They asked for SS for each person.I think that is wrong...Oh, wait, that was the federal government, I think it was okay then ;)

ShirleyPerly said...

Unfortunately, it seems we hear too often about some public records containing SSN info being freely available for all or some major theft of sensitive info. We've had to monitor our credit reports pretty much continuously for the past 5-6 years.

Anne said...

What's even more unbelievable is how much of that information is packaged and sold without our permission to everyone and his mother. Oh, don't even get me started,.....

DawnB said...

and we wonder why identity theft is so easly accomplished.

Jade Lady said...

You all remember when we went to college and they hung up our grades, by SSNs? It now sounds crazy!