Monroe County Clerk Cheryl Dinolfo announced completion of a complete review of her Online Office to remove social security numbers. The new software and process used to remove social security numbers was developed by the Clerk's Office in partnership with its software vendor. Other County Clerks throughout New York and other states have expressed interest in using this state-of-the-art solution. In addition, Dinolfo announced a privacy protection feedback tool is available on the Clerk's Online Office, which allows residents to report any documents that may pose a security risk. Also, the Online Office provides a link to information on how residents can protect themselves from identity theft.
"Residents of Monroe County can rest assured that my office has taken every possible measure to protect them against identity theft while ensuring access to records that are vital to our local economy and real estate market," said Dinolfo.
Today's announcement builds upon Dinolfo's leadership in addressing social security numbers on public documents. In 2006, she was one of the first County Clerks in New York to adopt a Comprehensive Redaction Policy to prevent the filing of social security numbers on documents; and last year, Dinolfo introduced legislation to implement the Clerk's Office's redaction software, used in the recently completed review, that received the support of the entire County Legislature -- both Democrats and Republicans.
"While we have reached a milestone in our efforts to protect residents from identity theft and other types of fraud, I assure you that we will remain vigilant in our efforts because no system is perfect," said Dinolfo. "I encourage residents to contact our office with any questions or concerns they have and to make us aware of any documents they believe could cause a security risk."
Dinolfo stated that the recently completed review of the Online Office most likely removed 95-97% of all social security numbers that may exist on documents available through the website. However, her office continues daily sampling of records to increase that confidence level and ensure the integrity of the database.
The Online Office is used by Realtors, attorneys, and title companies, for the research necessary to complete home closings and other Real Estate transactions vital to our local economy.