NYFingerLakes-L ArchivesArchiver > NYFingerLakes > 2002-08 > 1030642003
Subject: [NYFL] Re: question about records
Date: Thu, 29 Aug 2002 13:26:43 EDT
I just got this on another list and though it doesn't pertain to New York, it
may explain some of the reasoning behind restricting access to records.
California's Senate Bill 1614 passed a third reading in a divided Senate
Friday, 21-16. Members of the Judiciary Committee favored the bill 7-3, while
similar split was apparent in the Appropriations Committee, which voted 15-8.
California Governor Gray Davis' administration initiated the bill authored by
Jackie Speier, D-San Francisco/San Mateo to curb use of state vital records
identity theft and fraud.
A recent Legislative summary by Saskia Kim said, "[The bill] Seeks to permit
necessary public access to vital records while also protecting the
confidentiality and personal privacy of the individuals to whom the
The bill, sponsored by the Department of Health Services, came about after a
California newspaper reported free Internet access to private individuals'
records and associated information. The State Registrar and county recorders
sold electronic compilations of public record on CD. The purchasers
posted the detailed data on line. The instant availability of these records
raised concern that the instant access would encourage fraudulent use.
Genealogists, newspapers and some commercial organizations argued that the
records were important historic and public documents that should be readily
available for research. Others argued that without access to specific
would be nearly impossible for banks and credit card companies to verify an
Legislators agreed on a plan to provide three separate sets of indices with
hope of offering something to everyone:
1. comprehensive and continuous birth and death indices available only to
2. non-comprehensive birth and death indices available to the public. Birth
indices will contain: first, middle and last name, gender, date and place of
birth. Death indices will contain: first, middle and last name, gender, date
place of birth, place of death, date of death and father's last name.
3. non-comprehensive birth and death indices for law enforcement or the
prevention of fraud. The same information will be included as in the
indices above, however the mother's maiden name will be included. Social
Security numbers will be included in the death indices.
To review full details of recent legislative action on this bill visit the
California Legislature on line at www.leginfo.ca.gov.