There are many websites out there which purport to deliver all sorts of public records. From background checks to arrest records and everything in between, it seems like there is no end to the information available at one’s fingertips. Some people may find this disturbing and view it as an intrusion of privacy. But actually, the importance of accessibility to public records cannot be understated.
Public records are available in every single state in the country. Yes, there are even NY public records for those who have the need to search there. In a society and country which prides itself on democracy, nothing could be more democratic than the transparency of it government agencies and its citizens.
The public has a right to know about where and on what its tax dollars are spent on. Public records are a way for this to happen. Public records are also a way to investigate someone in an ethical manner as they may need special security clearances for a job. Also, if someone is hiring, say a babysitter or caretaker, the family will need to make sure that person has never been arrested for a violent crime or a crime of a sexual nature. These arrest records are often easy to obtain on such sites as Intelius.
Census data is one form of public data which often goes overlooked but it is, in fact, a very important part of the research. Historians analyze the data to research historical trends and there has been a huge uptick in the interest in genealogy, thanks in part to the ease of which census data is available.
There are a whole host of other records which are made available to the public, each with different reasons as to why someone would need them. For instance, a birth certificate is needed for anyone to prove citizenship, either for social security benefits or to apply for a passport. On the other hand, a death certificate is needed by your next of kin to represent your estate in court proceedings. While it may seem obvious that one is actually dead, there still needs to be an official document which states it and it needs to be accessible to members of the public.
These are just a few of the reasons why there is, and will always be, a strong need for accessibility of public records.