COUNTY PARTIALLY DISABLES ONLINE RESEARCH TO PROTECT PRIVACY

COUNTY PARTIALLY DISABLES ONLINE RESEARCH TO PROTECT PRIVACY

Doña Ana County has disabled several of its online real-estate records pages, because some documents contain sensitive personal information that could be exploited by identity thieves.

Under New Mexico law, Doña Ana County cannot alter original records kept in the vaults of the Doña Ana County Clerk's Office. Those scanned records comprise a large part of the database for online deeds, mortgages, mortgage releases and other real-estate documents. Some of those documents contain Social Security numbers and other sensitive information. Unless and until the New Mexico Legislature allows counties the ability to redact sensitive information from official documents, the database will likely remain offline.

District 5 Commissioner William J. 'Bill' McCamley asked staff to review the web content Tuesday after receiving a complaint from a constituent. On Wednesday morning, County Assessor Gary Perez and County Clerk Rita Torres conferred with County Manager Brian D. Haines, and the decision was collectively made to disable the affected portions of the website.

“Doña Ana County led the way in the State of New Mexico in providing online document research,” said county spokesman Jess Williams, “but with the current climate of legitimate fear regarding identity-theft, we had to make this difficult decision to discontinue the service.”