Brookfield officials have received questions about Social Security numbers on records received by the Town Clerk. Many documents, dating back to the 1960’s, included Social Security numbers. These records are, by law, available to anyone and cannot be altered, remaining exactly as filed. This was questioned recently because of Brookfield automating their records system.
Most area towns are scanning files into computer systems making the documents available for anyone to review them online, not just by those who go to town offices. For a daily or monthly fee, users can access records one at a time.
The Brookfield Board of Selectmen will discuss the subject to understand people's concerns, but believe there is no additional risk by allowing online access versus coming into the office. Online access has been closed until the Board has a chance to review in greater detail.
Brookfield officials say the best way to eliminate this problem is to have the State legislature change the laws to allow Social Security numbers to be removed from the original documents filed. While it is possible to redact the information, it would be a manual process, very expensive and would not fix the problem as Social Security numbers would still be available on the original document filed with the Town Clerk’s office.