Reader dislikes borough’s use of technology on Web

Posted: Thursday, March 22, 2007

I recently attended the Kenai Chamber of Commerce luncheon where the speaker was Shane Horan from the Kenai Peninsula Borough Office of Assessment. Mr. Horan went over many topics during the presentation, but one item that he covered really stood out, and that was that you could access anyone’s house floor plan and a picture of the house via the borough’s Web site.

I am fine with the Web site containing value of the house or land, square footage and minor details, but I do have a problem with the floor plan and picture being available to the public. I think this is a safety issue, especially for those who have small children.

The Internet is now used by many for good and bad. My issue is that the borough has made the criminals’ work much easier. I think it is important as a parent to teach our kids to always be aware of strangers and not talk to them, but as we are teaching our kids, the borough is making it hard for us because of this “public record.”

I sent Mr. Horan an e-mail on Feb. 23 to request that my information be removed from the Web site. On March 1 I received a letter from Mr. Horan stating, “A public agency is encouraged to make information available in usable electronic formats to the greatest extend feasible.”

Mr. Horan then went on to say the Web page is in response to the legislative encouragement. Mr. Horan closes his letter by stating, “If you believe you can demonstrate a subjective expectation of privacy that society is prepared to recognize as reasonable in regard to our Web page publication, please submit that information by letter and I will consider that information. Please note that verification of any factual assertions may be required.”

As a tax-paying parent, I would be interested to know how many parents, daycare facilities or normal folk realize that this is available and considered a “public record.”

Shawn Maltby


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