NJ Home PageGRC Home PageOPRA Home PageNJ Home PageOPRA Home Page
Privacy Study Commission
Commission Members and Staff Commission Meetings Talk to the Commission

Privacy Study Commission Meeting Minutes
December 19, 2003

Chairman Litwin called the meeting to order at 10:31 a.m.

Chairman Litwin read the Open Public Meetings Statement.

Chairman Litwin led all present in the salute to the flag.

Ms. Buckelew called the roll as follows:

Commission Members Present: Chairman Larry Litwin, Grayson Barber, George Cevasco, Edithe Fulton (arrived at 10:35 a.m.), William Kearns, Jack McEntee, Rosemary Karcher-Reavey, Karen Sutcliffe, and H. Lawrence Wilson.

Commission Members Absent: Thomas Cafferty, Richard DeAngelis, John Hutchison, and Pamela McCauley.

Staff Present: Catherine Starghill, Legal Specialist and Jeannie Janukowicz and Lori Buckelew, Division of Local Government Services staff.

Mr. Kearns moved to approve the minutes of the November 14, 2003 meeting with a second by Ms. Barber. The motion was adopted on a call of ayes and nays. Mr. McEntee and Ms. Sutcliffe abstained.

Public Testimony:

Keith Bonchi, Legal Counsel of the Tax Collectors and Treasurers Association of New Jersey addressed the Commission. Mr. Bonchi presented his organization's concerns regarding the need for public or limited disclosure of home addresses for tax sales, foreclosures and parties of interest (taxpayers, real estate owners/heirs, prior tax lien holders, and occupants).

Technology Subcommittee Presentation:

Mr. Kearns advised the Commission that Bruce Harrison's presentation on geographical information systems would be rescheduled to the January meeting due to his illness.

Dan Paolini, Director of Data Management Services of the New Jersey Office of Information and Technology (OIT) addressed the Commission. His presentation was entitled, “Technology and Privacy: It's not “Can They Coexist,” but “They Must Coexist” (The NJ Common Data Architecture and Privacy). Mr. Paolini's presentation described the issues of information privacy within state and local government agencies resulting from technology. Mr. Paolini advised the Commission that often government erroneously base new policies on existing technology, thus causing those policies to fail when the technology changes (which is inevitable at the rate at which technology changes). He suggested instead that the best approach was to establish policies and then create the technology necessary to implement those policies. He suggested that when recommending privacy policies that will affect how state and local government agencies operate, the Commission should be mindful that technology is constantly changing. Therefore, the Commission should not base its policy recommendations on current technology.

Review of the Study Timeline:

Ms. Starghill reviewed the timeline. Ms. Starghill noted that the Special Directive subcommittee is awaiting copies of the public hearing transcripts in order to complete its report. Therefore, the report will not likely be ready until February. Mr. Starghill advised that the timeline had been adjusted to extend the release date of the Commission's final report. The Commission agreed to the following additional meeting dates: July 23, 2004, August 20, 2004 and September 24, 2004.

Subcommittee Reports were discussed as follows:

Special Directive : Ms. Barber stated that the subcommittee is waiting for the public hearing transcripts to complete its report.

New Jersey Practices : Ms. Sutcliffe noted that the surveys have been completed and that the subcommittee has started reviewing the data.

Public Interest : Judge Karcher-Reavey stated that there was no report.

Technology : Mr. Kearns restated that Bruce Harrison's presentation will be held in January.

Commercial Use : Ms. Starghill noted that the subcommittee report is being drafted.

Ms. Starghill provided the Commission with a staff update. Ms. Starghill noted that the Commission meeting agenda for the upcoming meeting will now be available one week prior to the meeting date on the website for everyone's review and reference.

Chairman Litwin opened the meeting for public comment.

Public Comment:

Michael Fasano, a representative of the New Jersey Land Title Association, addressed the Commission regarding the necessity of public or limited disclosure of home addresses for title searching and tax lien verification. Mr. Fasano explained the importance of including property addresses on deeds. He stated that title companies use those addresses to determine whether there are judgments or liens against properties. He further stated that without this information, title and tax lien companies would be unable to confirm whether there are judgments on properties. Mr. Fasano also explained why purchase price information is included on deeds. Mr. Kearns expressed his concern that social security numbers are included on deeds. Mr. Fasano stated that most professionals in the industry agree that social security numbers should not be included on deeds. Ms. Starghill noted that there is pending legislation (A-2903/S-1988) that would prohibit the inclusion of social security numbers on deeds awaiting the Governor's signature.

Hearing no one further, Ms. Sutcliffe moved to adjourn, with a second from Mr. Wilson.

Chairman Litwin adjourned the meeting at 11:54 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Larry Litwin, Chairman


contact us privacy statement legal statement accessibility statement nj home