||Oracle Tips by Burleson
Chapter 1 -
The Illusion of Anonymity
Finding Criminal History
In addition to publicly available information,
many companies may, for a fee, perform the search and present the
results to an applicant in a report. Unfortunately, a few
unscrupulous employers may still conduct a background investigation
without proper authorization from the applicant or without legal
A Wealth of Civil Information
Non-criminal lawsuits, marriage licenses,
drivers’ licenses, real estate transactions, and tax liens are all
examples of civil transactions that may be public record depending
on a person’s geographic location. A tax lien is one method that
local and state governments can use to collect unpaid taxes. Filing
a tax lien requires a public notice. This means there is no secret
list of tax liens. In fact, many places have a web-based search
that will allow anyone to search public record announcements.
Figure 1.4 shows an example of a typical search screen that can
return a listing of public records.
Figure 1.4 - A typical web page to search
for delinquent tax notices
Although current privacy laws make this less
likely now, many of the transactions, which are part of the public
record, including divorce proceedings and bankruptcies, have
included social security numbers and personal address information.
All this, of course, is information that should stay private.
Sources of Personal Information
Voter registration records are an excellent
source of information and often contain unlisted phone numbers,
birth dates, social security numbers and physical addresses. Since
voter registration information is a matter of public record, it is
often available upon written request. A person need only write the
voters registration office of the county of interest and request
it. It should be noted that the rules governing the dispensing of
this information are subject to frequent changes, and there is
usually a small fee for the information.
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