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Thursday, February 15, 2007


It’s nice to have your theories confirmed by one of the largest consumer-oriented organizations in the country, Consumer Reports. Their article in the October 2006 issue, “Your privacy for sale,” is must reading for anyone who is serious about their inner-sanctum. In an earlier post I covered the subject generally, but want to be more specific here in pointing out striking examples of today’s identity crisis. First, CR mentions the high number of inaccuracies in background reports requested by their staffers from data brokers, including names, addresses, Social Security numbers. What is even more astounding is a statement by LexisNexis—one of the big ones—that said: “We do not examine or verify our data, nor is it possible for our computers to correct or change data that is incorrect.” As to the first part of this sentence, knowingly selling inaccurate private information should be a crime. Next, the allegation their “computers” cannot make corrections is an outright lie. Second, Elizabeth Rosen, the nurse whose sensitive data was stolen from ChoicePoint—another biggie data broker—had no problems in the early stages, but became victimized more than a year later. Evidence the crooks are sophisticated enough to lay low at first, and strike when the trail gets cold.

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