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Oregon SOS: Private Information is Not Public

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The Oregon Secretary of State’s Office posted this announcement, June 19th:

Unfortunately, it’s a public record,” has been the Secretary of State Corporation Division’s constant refrain whenever we were asked about private information available to copy requesters. Although our forms did not request such information, and we tried to convince filers not to give us any, people still filed business registry, UCC and notary public document with social security and account numbers of their debtors. The debtors rarely knew the information, by law, could be published on-line or handed out to anyone willing to pay for a copy.

The Secretary of State sponsored House Bill 2090 to allow the Corporation Division to refuse to take this information. When personal information isn’t filed in the databases in the first place, it never has a chance to become public record, and the Division doesn’t have to make it available.

After July 15, 2007, the Secretary of State may refuse to file documents containing a Social Security number, a state identification number, a driver license number, a credit or debit card number, or an account number that is not
redacted to at least the last four digits of the number. ORS Ch. 56 (2007)Cover pages containing credit or debit card or account numbers to transact business with the Corporation Division are not considered documents for filing and will be accepted.

Although the Division may reject documents, our intent is to educate filers, so that they will know not to include such information, and so that we can quickly and safely add to the public record.

If you have any questions about our new procedures, or the law they are based on, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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