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Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Your personal data may be on the way to Phoenix, AZ

All of the personal data that corporations and organizations collect about you—and there is a ton—has to be kept somewhere. Obviously on computers, but these computers have to be housed in a place that is safe and dependable. John Yantis, writing in the Arizona Republic says that Phoenix, AZ is the second safest place for your private information in the U.S., after Rochester, NY.

He counts five such data centers in metro Phoenix that serve as either the primary or secondary warehouse for this goldmine of your factual background and lifestyle. It’s called out-sourcing, and is done by any establishment that maintains sensitive information. Primary means the first location other than the home source collecting the data. A secondary one simply duplicates the data duplicated by the primary from the home source.

Any one of the latter two could even be out of this country, anywhere in the world, including Phoenix.

Do you worry? Yes! After spending 35 years in the junk mail industry selling your name and private information, constantly working with computer facilities that hold this data, I can tell you that security, although attempted vigorously by a few, is always vulnerable. And that is from the inside as well as hackers on the outside. Of course, some of these companies or organizations make it easy by just losing your information.

Yantis makes a point that storage depots like those in Phoenix are expanding because of the increase of “digitizing” personal and business information. This isn’t just new consumers coming into the marketplace. Business is manipulating the data already on hand to build computer models that will predict virtually every move you make during the day.

Scary, but true. This makes it imperative that individuals monitor their financial and health information regularly, and order a free credit report every 4 months. Even then the bad guys could somehow slip through the cracks with their rapid and continuing technological sophistication.

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