From The Real Deal:
A Brooklyn City Council member is working on legislation that would require property owners to be notified when their deeds are accessed through online city records, citing a growing threat of real estate fraud.
Brooklyn Councilman wants to restrict deeds access
Councilman Erik Martin Dilan, a Brooklyn Democrat, said criminals were committing fraud by printing and altering deeds that are available online. He said property owners need to be safeguarded, and that the exact images of deeds are too easily accessible online.
The city Department of Finance Web site, known as ACRIS (Automated City Register Information System), maintains a database of deeds and other property records for Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx going back to 1966.
The site gets about 300,000 visitors per month, a Department of Finance spokesman said.
Robert Freeman, executive director for the state Department of State's Committee On Open Government, said the system should not be changed.
"The kind of records that would be subject to the proposal have been available forever," he said, adding, "and what would it cost the city to notify everybody whose deed was accessed? It seems to me that would be an administrative nightmare."