Land registry systems and data security

Christos Goulas, the president of Ktimatologio SA, the company handling the land registry, sent Kathimerini a letter in response to an article by Giorgos Lialios, «Land-grabbing made easy via electronic fraud,» published in Kathimerini on February 11, 2007, and in Kathimerini English Edition on Tuesday. Among other comments, Goulas states, «The article does not correspond to reality and creates the false impression that the legal regime of the land registry and the use of electronic technology allow crafty individuals to commit fraud by appropriating the property of an unknown owner.» Asserting that «the current legislation contains no loophole for scam merchants who covet property registered under ‘unknown owner,’» Goulas notes that «the rectification of data in order to correct an obvious error is a strict, formal procedure which is conducted at the responsibility or/and by the chief land registrar and by him only.» He also considers that the example cited in the article of an ordinary employee rectifying data is inaccurate, claiming that «the legal and electronic system of entering data into the land registry database not only does not create risks but also, thanks to legal control and substantial publicity, guarantees legality.» Goulas adds that «no such complaint has even been made known to the land registry,» apart from a case in Cephalonia which is being dealt with by the judicial system. He concludes by noting that the «references to the land registry office being a quagmire» distort reality since «the project is proceeding at a rapid pace,» and says that new registrar surveys will be announced in late April. Kathimerini replies On the subject of delays, 11 years since the project began, not even 5 percent of Greece has been included in the registry. As to the case of electronic fraud mentioned in the article in Kathimerini, it might be helpful if, before stating that the only case he knows is in Cephalonia, the Ktimatologio SA president were to investigate the case further.