Cleveland Municipal Court web site fails in filtering private information

Submitted by rmoz6699 on Tue, 09/04/2012 - 04:03.

  On August 26, 2010, the Cleveland Plain Dealer ran a story stating that the Cleveland Municipal Court web site was temporarily being shut down because it was putting private information online. Court spokesman Ed Ferenc declined to say what private data was put online, but that it was information that should only have been accessible in-house, not to the public. Ferenc said this private information would be filtered out once new software was installed.

Here we are two years later and I've noticed something strange about the court's site. Normally when you pull up a court record it does not display the defendant's driver's license number. However, every once in awhile the driver's license number is displayed. License numbers, like Social Security numbers, are sought after by criminals who engage in identity theft.

I assume this information is not supposed to be displayed to the public, and usually it's not.But take a look at  one example I screen captured. This weekend I pulled up the same record twice. One time the license number was not displayed, but the other time it was.

Here's how a court record normally looks:


The arrow points to where the license number would be displayed, which I assume is never supposed to be displayed to the public. 

But look at the very same record pulled up at another time:

The license number is displayed for anyone to see!

It appears the Cleveland Municipal Court's web site is still not properly filtering private information from the public's view. If you'd like to try this yourself at the court's web site, be advised that the glitch rarely occurs. However, rarely is not good enough. It should never occur. I'm a regular user of the site and I've noticed this happen twice in just the last week. This is unacceptable.

The web site should be shut down until they fix this issue, which hopefully will not take another two years.

The Plain Dealer noted Cleveland was the last big city in Ohio to get its court files online, at a cost of many millions of dollars. What sort of incompetence is going on that the web site continues to expose sensitive, private information to public view?

Note: This was also published at my blog.

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Earl Turner, Clerk of Courts

Earl Turner, Clerk of Courts: pay attention. The responsibility for this is on you!

Rocky River Court Dockets show numbers

I was sent an e-mail telling me that the city of Rocky River has the drivers license numbers on their public court dockets. Perhaps other cities do, also.

 Wow. You're right that

 Wow. You're right that Rocky River's court site discloses the license numbers. I just looked at the Rocky River municipal court

and it looks like they use the same software as Cleveland. But Cleveland's software normally filters that info out. 


As far as I can tell, most other court sites don't disclose that personal information. 

Redact drivers license numbers!

This really should not be public information. Let's see: name, DOB, address and then driver license numbers add up to idenity theft opportunties.