An on-line database called Iowa Land Records.com is being rebuilt after security concerns shut it down, but two of the state’s 99 counties are refusing to cooperate. Hamilton County Recorder Kim Anderson says the personal information about Iowans who are involved in land transactions statewide still isn’t being handled properly.
“In 2008, the Iowa Land Records was shut down due to concerns there were Social Security numbers found,” Anderson says. “Governor Culver’s Social Security number was found. They haven’t implemented a new redaction process that all documents are going through that’s costing quite a lot. It’s costing $2.4-million to do this, I’ve heard, which will be collected by taxpayers.” Anderson is stalwart in denying access to her county residents’ land records because she fears identity theft could be widespread.
“They are still not removing information I consider to be a possible threat,” Anderson says. “It will have your name, your address, your marital status, possibly your birthday, it’ll have your signature which can be cut and pasted into any document.” The Iowa County Recorders Association is demanding that Anderson comply to recreate the electronic land database, but she refuses.
“We’re not submitting those documents although they are seeking an Attorney General’s opinion against me, the Recorders Association is, to force Hamilton County to comply with this new law,” Anderson says. “I’ve turned it over to my County Attorney, Pat Chambers, and he is working on trying to help me stand my ground, to protect the citizens of Hamilton County.” Anderson says she’s not opposed to “indexing” real estate information of land records, but she’s concerned about the wholesale reproduction of documents for Internet-access that contain personal and confidential information. Hardin County is also challenging the same issue.
By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City