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Tuesday, February 20, 2007


There’s a good article in the South Florida Sun Sentinel on recommendations from privacy advocates of how to protect your sensitive data. Linda Foley, executive director of Identity Theft Resource Center, says: “Have we not learned from history yet, that if you’re going to give [data] to a third party that you either encrypt or password protect it?” I checked my sources in junk mail and learned that at least one of the big six data brokers has been using encryption for the past year, and a computer maintenance facility combines password protection with encryption. I plan to follow up and see just how prevalent this is within the industry. Beth Givens, director of Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, comments: “The reason that we’re hearing of security breaches on almost a daily basis is because there’s so little encryption of the data.” Since ChoicePoint started encrypting its databases, they haven’t had a breach. However, experts will tell you that security depends on the level of sophistication of the encryption standard. The next question CP should answer is to what degree their encryption goes, and what are the odds of it being broken?

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