Magazine article Business Credit

Blacking Out

Magazine article Business Credit

Blacking Out

Article excerpt

The U.S. court system has been struggling with the need to share information on litigants, while at the same time trying to protect those individuals in an era of increasing identity theft. At one time, not too long ago, gobs of sensitive personal information, such as Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and account numbers, for litigants in bankruptcy proceedings were published online.

Changing times come with new challenges. The courts and attorneys are working to redact personal data identifiers, but the process can be tedious and is affected by a learning curve.

Redaction is a familiar process: big black lines drawn through information that is proprietary or private. In the days of paper, it was done with a black marker. In the electronic age, it must be done differently and a recent piece in the Federal Courts' newsletter The Third Branch touched on an incident where Connecticut attorneys filing pleadings learned that drawing a black bar with a highlighter box over text in an electronic document is not enough to excise the information. …

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