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County Clerk Candidate Chides Incumbent Over Privacy Issue

The Republican candidate for Monroe County Clerk is taking Democrat Adam Bello to task over the issue of some local residents’ social security numbers being revealed online.

Cheryl Rozzi says she was made aware this week of the records of seven people whose social security numbers were not redacted as they should have been. Democrat Adam Bello was appointed county clerk earlier this year, and in making her point, Rozzi referred to a discussion that happened during the Voice of the Voter debate on WXXI earlier this week.

“When my opponent stated that he was pushing for e-filing and I said during that debate time that I would explore the issue, however I had serious concerns about private and personal information in those types of court documents that would be part of the e-filing system,” Rozzi told WXXI News

Bello says the issue Rozzi is talking about is precisely why he has pushed for better software to do a  better job of securing online data.

“A lot of the technology that we use is outdated or antiquated, and this is one of them. This is why I’ve taken such an aggressive approach over the last couple of months to upgrade our software and modernize the technology here so that we can prevent things like this from happening again in the future,” Bello said.

Rozzi says that shows Bello’s office hasn’t taken the proper steps to protect personal information while trying to expand the ability to look at records online.

She said that, “We have now seven documents that are out there with social security numbers and obviously those numbers are out there forever and the public has access on line to those documents if they so choose.”

Bello blames antiquated software and says that since he’s been in office he’s trying to improve that system.  He says what may have happened in this case is that the social security numbers were handwritten and the current software wasn’t able to read them and flag them for staff to redact the information.

“The new technology that we’re looking at during the next couple of months can actually learn as it goes to pick up on different looks and the way social security numbers are presented so it can pick up on things like this."

Bello says he does take the issue of personal privacy very seriously.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.