THE VIRGINIA WATCHDOG
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For Immediate Release
Contact: Christian A. Jenkins, Esq., Telephone: (513)723-1600
SECRETARY OF STATE BLACKWELL AGREES TO REMOVE SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS FROM WEBSITE
Cincinnati, OH – Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell has agreed to remove social security numbers from thousands of documents available on his government website as part of a settlement reached this afternoon. The settlement also requires Blackwell to revamp his office’s policies concerning social security numbers, including instituting several new procedures aimed to protect private information from identity theft.
The Cincinnati law firm of Mezibov & Jenkins Co. LPA filed the class action lawsuit on March 2, 2006, on behalf of Brown County resident Darrell Estep, a truck driver whose social security number appeared on Blackwell’s website as a result of several routine commercial purchases he had made. Estep asked the court to enjoin Blackwell from publishing documents containing his social security number, claiming that the practice violated his constitutional right to privacy.
The settlement, announced Monday afternoon, requires Blackwell to redact or block access to all social security numbers on documents posted on its website “with all reasonable haste,” to implement a registration process for entities seeking access to certain documents on the Secretary of State’s website, and to provide notice to large commercial lenders of the office’s new policies regarding the publication of social security numbers.
The case is captioned Darrell Estep v. J. Kenneth Blackwell, in his official capacity as Secretary of State for the State of Ohio, United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Western Division, Case No. 1:06 CV 106 MHW.
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For questions or comment, please contact:
Christian A. Jenkins, Esq.
Mezibov & Jenkins, Co. LPA
401 E. Court Street, Suite 600
Cincinnati, OH 45202
(c) 2003 Ostergren, P.C. (Page Format Only)