The justices of the Massachusetts’ highest court have approved guidelines designed to protect against identity theft by having people who file court documents omit personal information.
The nonbinding guidelines call for only the last four digits of Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, tax identification numbers and driver’s license numbers to be included in court documents. They also say only the first initial of a person’s mother’s maiden name should be used.
The guidelines apply only to court documents that are publicly available and contain exemptions for situations when personal information may be necessary to include.
It is up to the person filing the court document to delete or omit data.
The interim guidelines become effective Sept. 1. A rule is expected to be formulated at a later date.
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