Northwest NEWS

October 21, 2002

Local News

Credit information to be protected by county

King County is working to protect residents' credit card information when they buy services on-line. King County Executive Ron Sims recently recommended legislation protecting the privacy of credit card information obtained when the public uses a credit card to pay for County goods and services.
   State public disclosure rules now exempt credit card information from public disclosure, and, with the proposed legislation, a consistent policy on the management and safeguarding of credit card, debit card, and check card account information will ensure privacy protection to all citizens who entrust their account information to the County.
   Currently, residents can, on-line, purchase vital statistics birth and death records, bus passes and vehicle registration renewals (car tabs.) Next year, pilot programs will offer pet license fees, property taxes and Superior Court filing fees. Other services in the future will include business licenses and permits, District Court filings, restaurant permit fees, title company recording fees, wastewater capacity charge fees and parks event scheduling and registration. This legislation specifies that credit card, debit card, and check card account information will not be stored in County computer systems or systems accessible by County staff without written authorization and written notification to the County Council Chair.