The latest on real estate recordings and new technology from the Middlesex North Registry of Deeds in Lowell
Our effort to remove all social security numbers from our digital documents is well underway. Rather than scan through all documents searching for SSNs, we’ve identified certain document types (such as tax liens and death certificates) that tend to have SSNs present. Then, we run an index search for a month at a time, retrieving all instances of that document. Exact electronic copies of these documents are then saved in a private location on our computer system. The document is then printed, we use a marker to blacken-out the first five digits of the SSN, leaving the last four digits visible. This redacted document is then rescanned, replacing the original image with the redacted one, both on our in-house computers and on our website. We’ve retrieved and redacted many months of documents (it’s going faster than we expected) but we’ve only rescanned a single month’s worth. We’ll wait a week or two to resume scanning which will give us an opportunity to continue testing this method. If anyone discovers any problems with documents they have retrieved, please let us know so we can ensure the problem has not been caused by this project.
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