Saturday, August 13, 2011

Hawaii property addresses, but not Social Security numbers, are public record

"The addresses of Hawaii real property owners are public records, but the last four digits of their Social Security numbers are not.

That's according to an Aug. 4 advisory opinion from the state Office of Information Practices. The opinion was issued at the request of the City of Honolulu's Property Assessment Division after CoreLogic, one of the nation's largest database firms, requested an electronic database of the 2011 Oahu Assessment Notices.

OIP opined that mailing addresses, including the home addresses, of people who own property in the state are public records, even if they do not live at the address of the property in question.

'OIP agrees that the mailing address is essential for the city to provide tax assessments and other notices under the real property tax laws,' said the OIP letter, signed by Staff Attorney Jennifer Brooks and approved by Director Cheryl Kakazu Park. 'The mailing address must therefore be considered 'real property tax information' ... so the (Uniform Information Practices Act's) exceptions to disclosure do not apply and the mailing addresses must be disclosed in full.'"

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