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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The Identity Crisis Won't End Until the Consumer Takes Control over Their Name and Personal Data

There is No Data Security Today

Pretexting, data breaches, lost laptops…call it what you want. They all put your private information in harm’s way, and set the stage for an identity crisis in your household. And even if you don’t suffer a loss—and I sincerely hope you do not—doesn’t it bother you just a little that the details of your life and your daily routine are in multiple databases around the world? It should, unless you are comfortable living in a glass house.

Voracious Appetite for Personal Data

There will always be a demand for consumers’ personal data for purposes of marketing, research, and applications we haven’t even thought of yet. So why not stop right now and level the playing field.

It’s the Individual, Stupid

Place the responsibility for protection with the individual by forcing Congress to pass legislation giving you control over your name and private information. This same legislation should include a stipulation that the consumer be paid each time his or her name and personal data is sold.

This means you must be made aware of and approve any transaction using it. That would make any unsanctioned source of your sensitive data useless, since the phone company, credit bureau, financial institution, or whoever is being contacted for your data cannot release it without your approval. And, the authorization process has been incorporated into a system I have developed.

Here’s How it Works

With a unique ID which will completely replace the Social Security number for purposes of identification, any critical activity involving the use of your name and/or private information would be subject to your approval. This would be handled by a simplified process executed by e-mail or telephone message, taking only minutes for each event. You will also be able to opt-in, not have to opt-out, in receiving any junk mail offers. This almost effortless and sophisticated procedure of notification would also document each sale of your data, and provide reports on the amount you are due.

Let Congress Know You’re Mad as Hell and Not Going to take it Anymore

After 35 years in junk mail selling your name and personal data, and acting as a predictive modeling and database consultant, I know the concept is valid and could be implemented. If you would like to put an end to the panic of potential ID theft, let you Congressional representatives know how you feel. Contact the House of Representatives. Contact the Senate. TODAY!


Mila said...

You're exactly right. Security breaches are rampant these days, and not much is being done about the epidemic. I can probably name at least ten laptop theft cases that happened just over the summer. Unfortunately, I doubt consumers will start to truly care about this issue until it affects them directly.

Anonymous said...

Are you following the InfoCard project? See for more information.

This multilateral technology could pave the way for the kind of reform you seek.