SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Nation/World

December 20, 2011

Genealogy sites remove Social Security numbers of deceased

(Continued)

WASHINGTON —

Among the other three websites:

-- FamilySearch.org, a website run by the Mormon Church, still had the numbers online Wednesday. But church spokesman Eric Hawkins said: "We are looking into how this matter can be resolved."

-- Indianapolis-based Vitalrec.com accesses the Death Master File through Ancestry.com, which has limited the public's access to the records. Vitalrec.com's operator did not respond to a request for comment.

-- Robert Christie, spokesman for The New York Times, which owns Genealogy.about.com, said, "This is the first we are seeing this note so we can't comment."

Nelson, who this year introduced legislation to limit public access to the Death Master File, praised Ancestry.com's and Genealogybank.com's decisions as a "good first step."

"I encourage other websites to follow suit," he told Scripps Howard. "But more must be done, including having the administration end the policy of immediately selling the Social Security numbers of deceased individuals."

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