Texas County Clerks Want to be Above the Law on Data Privacy

In case you haven’t been following security and privacy related news, last week Texas Attorney General Greg Abbot ruled that exposing SSNs in public documents violates state and federal laws.

To me, this is common sense and good news for the common good of everyone in Texas. Why would you want anyone printing your social security number in a public document? It makes no sense and is outright dangerous.

Now we have this little gem (source: computerworld.com)

The Texas House of Representatives last week passed emergency legislation that would absolve county clerks of civil or criminal liability for exposing SSNs in public documents “in the ordinary course of business.” […] The ruling would require that clerks check each document for SSNs and remove them before making the documents public. Daunted by the task and fearful of running afoul of the law, county clerks asked state legislators to come to their aid.

This sounds like a group of people so set in their ways and fearing of change that they are unwilling (or too lazy?) to change operating procedure to comply with the law and the good of the general public.

I’m appalled that the Texas county clerks would ask legislators to exempt them from this law and I am even more disgusted with the fact that the legislators are considering it.

Apparently even the privacy concerns are bigger in Texas.