Privacy, IRL

Lately, everyone has been getting pretty bent out of shape concerning Facebook’s attempt to take over the world. Sharing stuff that you thought you weren’t sharing, allow your ‘friends’ to share things about you and other douchebaggery. Sure, it’s a big deal, but have you gotten a birth certificate lately?

I had to do just that for teh lad this week and I was dreading it. I was expecting a county-courthouse type building with lines like the DMV and an impossiblly long process. For this task, I allotted 6 hours, including 2 hours of drive time.

It took me 2 hours and 20 minutes.

Yes, the County Records building wasn’t very busy. The employees were helpful and efficient. In and out lickity split and all that.

It was too easy.

I walked in, filled out a short form that **only** required his birthdate, his mothers maiden name, the county he was born in and my signature. I was asked what my relationship was to him, but wasn’t asked to show ID of any kind.

Knowing this, do you have any idea how many birth certificates I could get? Right now? Hell, with a little social engineering, I could easily get the required information from damned near anyone I know and use that to get a copy of their birth certificate. It shouldn’t be this easy.

Maybe this was a county thing? Maybe it’s like that everywhere, I don’t know. But, really, how hard would it be to record the person that picked it up? Almost all state issued ID’s have a magnetic stripe on the back that could be swiped and the data captured. Or, even a quick check of the ID to make sure that they name on the ID matches a name on the certificate?

Something. Anything. This really scares me. It needs to be more difficult.

By Don

Lead bottle washer at, host at and tech guru for the MotoringFile family of sites.

1 comment

  1. I may be wrong but I think birth certificates are a matter of public record, anyone can request anybody’s for any reason.

    Of course IANAL.

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