news from Google

Jeffrey Ollie jeff at
Fri Dec 4 07:21:17 CST 2009

On Fri, Dec 4, 2009 at 5:29 AM, Jorge Amodio <jmamodio at> wrote:
> I'm more concerned about information that by law is being made public
> and available
> on-line (like property records in the US) out of my control, or not very easy to
> "opt-out".

Property records have always been public information in the US, and no
one can "opt out" (well, I suppose you could sell your house).  Having
information like this available to the public is important because the
government uses those records to make decisions like property tax
rates.  If you were allowed to opt out it would be difficult or
impossible for the public to monitor these government actions.  For
example, if you thought that you were being charged more property tax
than you thought you should you could examine the property records for
properties that were comparable to yours and see what they were being
charged.  If all of your neighbors had opted out you wouldn't be able
to do that (at least not with out going to court).  Similarly, if you
were looking at buying a house you could check the property records to
see if any liens had been made against the property or if you could
afford to pay the property taxes.

Jeff Ollie

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