The New York Law Journal discusses a New York City Bar report (pdf) released last week. The City Bar’s subcommittee on electronic records within the group’s Council on Judicial Administration wrote about data privacy in court filings, urging a change in court rules.
Citing the increasing availability of court documents on the internet, the New York City Bar is urging the courts to adopt a statewide rule that would sharply curtail the inclusion of “sensitive personal information” in civil court filings. […]
With the court system and private companies posting records online, and the difficulty of purging electronically filed information, “[t]he reality is that the notion of privacy of court records is a misnomer,” the report says.
The City Bar’s proposal would require that civil court filers omit or redact nine categories of information, including Social Security, taxpayer identification, and driver’s license numbers.
The rule also would prohibit the names of minor children, dates of birth, bank and financial account numbers, government-issued identification numbers, and “other identification numbers which uniquely identify an individual” from appearing on civil court filings. […]
In addition to limiting the potential for identity theft, the proposal is meant to “prevent the unnecessary disclosure of an individual’s sensitive personal information in civil court filings as an abusive litigation tactic,” according to the rule’s statement of purpose.