Jefferson Co. officials voluntarily remove social security numbe - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Jefferson Co. officials voluntarily remove social security numbers from public records

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- For years, hundreds of thousands of social security numbers have been a mouse click away for anyone to see on some land records, but Jefferson County is cleaning up public records, and ultimately, helping to protect your identity.

Many people were probably unaware their social security number have been up for grabs: until Oct. 15, anyone using a simple web search could type in your name or address and find your social security number.

According to the Jefferson County Clerk's office, mortgages, tax liens, and deeds are all published online, and up until now, many had social security numbers attached -- making identity theft fairly simple.

Wednesday morning, the clerk's office announced that it has retrieved those records and redacted almost every social security number that was ever printed on those documents.

The city says it spent more than $400,000 to address the issue -- and they weren't required to do it. In fact, the commonwealth doesn't require the redaction of social security numbers from land record documents.

And Jefferson County doesn't know of any identity thefts that have occurred in relation to the documents on file at the clerk's office. But county clerk Bobbie Holsclaw says she wanted to be proactive.

To give you an idea of the scope of this project, city employees using special software had to go through 22 million pages of documents in an effort to find and remove every social security number.

Officials believe they have erased 300,000 social security numbers from documents since the project started in 2010.

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