RE: Personal Information Database

From: Susan Foster <sfoster[_at_]UDel.Edu>
Date: Thu, 26 Sep 1996 16:45:21 -0400 (EDT)

Forwarded from:
Susan Foster

> From: P-Trak Comment <P-Trak.Comment[_at_]>
> To: "sfoster[_at_]UDel.Edu" <sfoster[_at_]UDel.Edu>
> Subject: RE: Personal Information Database
> Date: Thu, 26 Sep 1996 14:14:00 -0400
> Encoding: 100 TEXT
> Status:
> Below is information about P-TRAK from LEXIS-NEXIS. If you would like
> to be removed from the database, you must follow the procedures listed.
> They have been put in place to remove names from P-TRAK in a most
> efficient manner. Replying to this message will NOT ensure removal from
> the database.

>* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

> Statement on the P-TRAK file from LEXIS-NEXIS
> revised 9/25/96, first issued 9/18/96
> Incorrect information is being distributed on Internet newsgroups and
> e-mail regarding the data displayed in LEXIS-NEXIS+ P-TRAK file. P-TRAK
> is like an electronic "white pages." The only information displayed is
> the name of the individual, current address and up to two previous
> addresses and telephone number. In some cases, the individual+s maiden
> name may appear as well as the month and year of birth. That is the ONLY
> information displayed in the P-TRAK file. The data included in P-TRAK
> are records of U.S. residents only.
> Contrary to some messages that have been posted to some Internet
> discussion and news groups, the P-TRAK file does not contain any credit
> histories, bank account information, personal financial data, mother+s
> maiden name or medical histories. This misinformation has been posted
> over and over again to various news groups. An example of a record
> appears below:
> Name: DOE, JOHN E
> Current Address: 1066 Anywhere Drive, Dayton, OH 95454
> Previous Addresses: 106 Somewhere Drive
> Dayton, OH 92454
> Birthdate: 9/1965
> Telephone number: 555-1212
> On file since: 6/1/1994
> The information displayed in the P-TRAK file is the type of information
> readily available from public information sources such as telephone
> directories (in print and CD-ROM format) and public records maintained
> by government agencies.
> LEXIS-NEXIS markets the P-TRAK file to the legal community for use by
> general legal practitioners, litigators and public attorneys, as well as
> law enforcement agencies and police departments. These professionals
> use the P-TRAK file to assist in locating litigants, witnesses,
> shareholders, debtors, heirs and beneficiaries.
> LEXIS-NEXIS is aware of the sensitivities regarding the potential misuse
> of information. Business competitors of LEXIS-NEXIS have for some time
> made Social Security numbers available to users of their services. In
> addition, Social Security numbers and other information are available on
> the Internet from a number of sources. Despite this wide availability
> of Social Security numbers in the market place, LEXIS-NEXIS discontinued
> the display of Social Security numbers in the P-TRAK file as of June
> 11, 1996, eleven days after the product was introduced. While Social
> Security numbers are NOT displayed in P-TRAK, subscribers may locate a
> record by entering a known Social Security number.
> Through its actions, LEXIS-NEXIS is balancing the privacy concerns of
> the public with the legitimate needs of legal, business and government
> professionals for access to accurate sources of publicly available
> information. By discontinuing the display of Social Security numbers in
> P-TRAK and only providing information that is already available to the
> public from other sources, LEXIS-NEXIS believes it has responsibly met
> the expressed concerns of the public.
> Individuals interested in having their names removed from the P-TRAK
> file can e-mail their full names, complete addresses and telephone
> numbers to: p-trak[_at_] or mail this information to
> ATTN: P-TRAK, P. O. Box 933, Dayton, OH 45401. A World Wide Web-based
> form for deletion is available at
> You may also fax your
> request to 1-800-470-4365. This information will be used solely to
> remove names from the P-TRAK database and for no other purpose.
> ----------
>> From: sfoster[_at_]UDel.Edu
>> To: pr[_at_]
>> Subject: Personal Information Database
>> Date: Wednesday, September 18, 1996 11:49AM
>> Web page explanations not withstanding, there is another important aspect
>> which you do not cover.  That is my right to see the information about me
>> in your database to ensure your obligation of its accuracy.  Therefore,
>> please tell me how you will show me my record.
>> It matters not whether yours is a business to business service when the
>> content of your database is personal.  I will be interested to know what
>> public government databases contain the information you include, such as
>> SSN, mother's maiden name, etc.  The issue here is that the aggregation of
>> information about an individual heightens the issues of privacy, by making
>> such information available in one place without any regard for need to
>> know.
Received on Thu Sep 26 1996 - 20:53:55 GMT

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