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Currently, in USA, if you purchase property (land/house), the municipality makes that transaction public (and internet scraping company make it Googleable).

Does the right to privacy extend to that information? Can a municipality be requested to keep PII of the transaction private, e.g. censor the name out of the public records?

  • The usual approach for people who want to hide their property ownership is to set up a corporation or other legal entity to hold the property. – phoog Nov 11 '16 at 16:14
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    That's why I commented rather than answering. Given that this approach is so well established, I conclude that no such right exists. I didn't think that would be sufficient basis for a proper answer, however. – phoog Nov 11 '16 at 16:23
  • What "right to privacy" are you referring to? E.g. there is no general federal RTP, though there are regulatory limits on information connected to student or medical records (not property ownership). However, "liberty", which is protected, has been construed in some instances to mean a right to privacy. But then there are 50 different states. In other words, are you asking for an analysis of the notion "right to privacy" to see if there is anything that actually could compel a government to make ownership records secret albeit subpoenable? – user6726 Nov 11 '16 at 16:38
  • @user6726 - Judge Blackmun seems to disagree that "right of privacy" doesn't exist. But IANAL, so I could be mis-reading and it was specific to medical records, given the context. Numerous company rules around PII also seem to be based in at least SOME sort of regulations, I doubt companies would enforce and implement the PII rules just for *&(^ and giggles, given that it costs money. – DVK Nov 11 '16 at 17:05
  • @DVK, yes, there are specific privacy rights. FERPA and HIPAA give rise to numerous regulations, and there simply is no Property Owner's Secrecy Act that compels, as FERPA and HIPAA do. – user6726 Nov 11 '16 at 17:49

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