In March 2016, ISIS threatened the safety of fifty-five New Jersey Transit Officers by releasing their full names and addresses online. The incident involving the New Jersey Transit Police exemplified how innocuous address information available on the Internet can be used as a weapon when falling into the wrong hands. While the March 2016 incident may have highlighted the problem, concerns over the ease in which address information is available online has been apparent for some time to judges, law enforcement officers, prosecutors, journalists, victims of crimes and any privacy conscience individuals. However, recognizing the existence of a problem does not help to solve it.
The Privacy Initiative of New Jersey is proposing that New Jersey develop a new corporate entity, entitled a Privacy Corporation that would be designed to mask address information. The Privacy Corporation is a recognition that the key to hiding address information is to disassociate an address from a person’s name. Under the theorized Privacy Corporation, it would be the intent that all rules governing residential mortgages and foreclosures would continue unaffected. Consequently, purchasing a home either with or without a Privacy Corporation would remain substantially the same.
In many regards, a Privacy Corporation would be akin to a Limited Liability Company (LLC), an entity that many wealthy individuals already use to mask the ownership of real estate. To purchase real estate in the name of an LLC, it is largely necessary to the make the purchase without the need of financing. Providing for a Privacy Corporation would allow all individuals to protect the confidentiality of their address, no matter their economic circumstance.