PRIA Announces Approval of Redaction Best Practices Paper

Morrisville, N.C. – The Board of Directors of the Property Records Industry Association (PRIA) has given final approval to the Redaction Best Practices paper produced by the Records Access & Privacy Policy Committee.

According to PRIA President Mark Ladd, Simplifile, LC, “Amid continuing concerns and challenges balancing the public’s access to information with an individual’s right to privacy, PRIA’s Records Access & Privacy Policy Committee consulted and collaborated with industry partners and stakeholders to produce these best practices.”

Industry partners and stakeholders include recorders¹ nationwide, as the legislated custodians providing access to the land records, and those dependent on the accuracy and availability of these records, including title insurance underwriters, title searchers, lenders, recording software vendors and redaction software vendors.

These best practices address the availability of information about individuals contained in land records maintained by recorders, and the technical solutions of redaction. Land records by definition are public records, and in many jurisdictions, there are few restrictions on the release of public records. This paper sets forth redaction best practices for policymakers and recorders. The paper is intended as a resource tool for legislators prior to proposing legislation and for recorders as they begin to address redaction.

Redaction is the most common solution for concealing personally identifiable data in the public record from public view. This solution allows sensitive, private, or confidential information which is exempt by law from disclosure to be covered in a manner that does not distort the meaning of the record.

According to the Government Sector Committee Co-chair, Carol Foglesong, assistant comptroller, Orange Co., Fla., “This paper provides background on redaction issues and suggests ways to move forward collaboratively with all the parties involved. We also wanted it to provide in depth practical approaches for the recorders.”

PRIA’s Social Security Number and Privacy Protection Act (SSNAPP Act), available on the PRIA website, provides guidance to both the recorders and legislators, defining Personally Identifiable Information (PII) as “one or more of the following specific unique identifiers when combined with an individual’s name: (1) Social Security Number, (2) driver’s license number or state identification card number, (3) financial institution account number, credit, debit or charge card number, and (4) date of birth.”

“These best practices are also important to the business sector since verifying the chain of title to property is a lynch pin for borrowing capital and moving the economy forward,” observed Steve McDonald, RedVision, Business Sector Committee Co-chair.

¹ In the United States, land document recording may take place at the State, City, Town, County, Borough, or Parish level. Depending on the jurisdiction, the Office of the Recorder may also be known as Recorder of Deeds, Registrar-General, Register of Deeds, Registrar of Deeds, Registrar of Titles, Deeds Registry, Auditor, or Deeds Office. In some states, the recording function is part of the county clerk’s responsibilities. PRIA uses the term “Recorder” for this role.

About PRIA
The Property Records Industry Association (PRIA) develops and promotes national standards and best practices for the land records industry. PRIA is a coalition of government and business partners collaborating to formulate positions on issues of common interest. PRIA strives to identify areas of consensus within the industry, leading to recommendations for national standards pertaining to recordable documents. For more information on PRIA, visit