THURSDAY THINK TANK - Notary Signing Agent Code of Professional Responsibility Guiding Principle 6 - Privacy and ConfidentialityNov 30, 2023
PRIVACY AND CONFIDENTIALITY
Today we are looking at the Notary Signing Agent Code of Professional Responsibility, Guiding Principle #6:PRIVACY AND CONFIDENTIALITY.
Being a Notary of Integrity means doing what is right at all times. Follow these standards for proper notarization and you will be on the right track.
The below is taken directly from the Signing Professionals Workgroup, Notary Signing Agent Code of Professional Responsibility:
Privacy and Confidentiality should always be on the mind of a Notary Public. Daily Notaries are exposed to personal and confidential information about the signers. Notaries are exposed to Information such as social security numbers, date of birth, banking information, and more. It is so important that Notaries do all that they can to protect that information with the utmost care. Failure to protect that Private Personal Information can have serious consequences. The Notary Public Code of Professional Responsibility Guiding Principles tells you several ways to protect that very important PPI. Here are some potential outcomes if a Notary fails to protect their clients' information:
- Violation of privacy laws: Notaries may be subject to legal action if they violate privacy laws by disclosing clients' personal information without consent or through notarial negligence . This could lead to fines, penalties, and legal liabilities.
**Revocation of Notary Commission:**
- Notary commissions are typically granted by state governments, and they come with a set of responsibilities and ethical obligations. If a notary fails to protect clients' information and breaches ethical standards, their commission may be revoked. This means they would no longer be authorized to perform notarial acts.
- In addition to legal consequences, a notary public's professional reputation can suffer. Word of mouth spreads quickly, and clients are likely to avoid a notary with a history of privacy breaches. This can impact the notary's ability to attract and retain clients.
- Clients who suffer harm or financial loss due to the notary's failure to protect their personal information may pursue civil lawsuits against the notary. This can result in monetary damages being awarded to the affected parties.
- In extreme cases where the breach involves criminal activities or gross negligence, a notary public may face criminal charges. This could lead to fines, probation, or even imprisonment, depending on the severity of the offense.
- Regulatory bodies overseeing notary publics may conduct investigations into allegations of misconduct. If found guilty, a notary may face disciplinary actions, including suspension or permanent removal from the profession.
Notaries are entrusted with sensitive information, and their role requires the utmost care and diligence in safeguarding the privacy of their clients. To avoid these consequences, notaries should familiarize themselves with the applicable laws and regulations, adhere to a strict code of ethics, and implement proper security measures to protect client information.
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