GAO to Study Bulk Sales of Government Information Containing Social Security Numbers

October 4, 2007

The GAO has been requested by Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to conduct a study on the bulk sales of government information by state and local agencies containing social security numbers. They requested ALTA’s assistance in educating them on the title industry’s use of social security numbers and how they obtain information from government agencies. ALTA staff and Jay Sibley, President of Title Data, Inc. from Houston held a conference call with GAO staff yesterday. Sibley explained the use of government records and the effectiveness of using social security numbers as an additional identifier, especially on common names. We explained that many real property records no longer contain social security numbers, and offered our continued assistance.