APG-L ArchivesArchiver > APG > 2007-05 > 1178771958
Subject: Re: [APG] State Vital Records Databases (was Wisconsin Budget Bill-Vital Records ...
Date: Thu, 10 May 2007 00:39:18 EDT
REPOSTED, with typos corrected, including subject line. Sorry.
>Now I know that all of these records appear to be dumped into a statewide
electronic database and can be retrieved from anywhere in the state.
Does that scare you?
The possibility of data entry errors gives me some concern, but what really
scares the daylights out of me is that birth certificates are accepted as
proofs of identity, but nothing in the system assures that the person presenting
a certificate is in fact the person whose birth it records. The certificate
lacks finger or foot prints, a blood or saliva sample, genetic data, unique
ID mark (as is required for valuable pedigree horses and dogs) or anything
else that would link it to the adult individual holding the certificate, and
that a responsible genealogist would accept as primary evidence for identity.
There is nothing in the new restricted-access procedures that gives me any
sense of protection from either identity theft or terrorism. The
identification required to obtain a certificate is usually no more than evidence that the
applicant has the same name and age or birthdate as the newborn or one of the
parents, usually a photo ID card issued by a government agency. I've seen
too many "the name's the same" cases for that to satisfy me. In the past.
government agencies were not so credulous. Civil War pension applications required
sworn affidavits identifying the applicant with the claimed military
service, not just a discharge certificate. In the more recent past, affidavits of
identity were required for passports, unless the officer accepting the
application knew the applicant personally.
Donn Devine, CG, CGI
Wilmington, Delaware, USA
CG, Certified Genealogist, CGI, and Certified Genealogical Instructor are
service marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, used under
license by board certificants after periodic evaluation, and the board name is
registered in the US Patent & Trademark Office.
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