Privacy concerns and identity-theft fears prompted Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell to halt public viewing of death certificates on the agency's Web site.
"There is so much personal information on them: a mother's maiden name, what they died from," Purcell said, adding that her office has been fielding complaints for years about the office's practice of posting death-certificate images. The office quietly took them down last month.
These are legitimate concerns - there are situations when exposing publicly collected and held information in a more easy to access and harder to control manner is not to the public's benefit.
The question government continues to grapple with is where to draw this line.