Access to Public Records: Tensions Between the Right-to-Know and the Protection of Privacy and the Role of Records Management
Government accountability, fostered by ready availability of public records, is a cornerstone of a healthy democracy. Yet the government also holds increasingly large amounts of sensitive personal and business data that is legitimately entitled to confidential treatment. Needless retention of information that is truly no longer needed creates risks ranging from improper breach of confidentiality, to burdens of "searching the haystack," to unmanageable opacity by simple result of sheer quantity. The accelerating increase in the volume and range of public information calls for forward-looking management of information as a highly important asset.