California is coming one step closer to protecting consumer data during a divorce with the passage of a bill (SB1015) that would allow judges to redact financial information from divorce records. Currently, Social Security numbers, home addresses, bank account information, income data and net worth can all be included in publicly available divorce records. Celebrities, including Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt, have recently started turning to private judges in order to keep their divorce details private.
The California divorce privacy bill is surrounded in controversy due to the involvement of a famous billionaire who wants to keep his financial data out of the spotlight. While critics have some points as to the selfish nature of his participation, the more significant issues are being ignored. Social Security numbers and other data should be redacted even if broader financial data is allowed. Legislators should focus more on protecting ordinary consumers from identity theft and less on protecting celebrities from embarrassment.
Not a celebrity but still concerned about privacy? Support legislation like California’s SB1015 in your own state. Contact your representatives to urge them to support these types of bills. You can also visit PrivacyRights.org for more information on this issue.
Are you concerned about the public nature of records such as divorce filings, driver’s license files, birth certificates, property records and court documents? How do you recommend that we balance the freedom of information with the need for identity theft protection? Share your feedback in the comments section below.