Tuesday, June 07, 2005

And you are...???

Yesterday I watched a guy at Best Buy walk out the door with $3,000 plasma flat screen t.v. after getting instant credit. Took less than 20 minutes. Give them your name, birthdate, social secutiry number and an ID hot off a home computer and anyone can watch American Idol in high definition in 20 minutes. Crooks can prove they are you faster than you can.

In one of the largest breaches of data security to date, a consumer finance subsidiary of Citigroup announced yesterday that a box of computer tapes containing information on 3.9 million customers was lost by UPS last month. The tapes contained names, addresses, Social Security numbers, account numbers, payment histories and other details on small personal loans made to millions of customers.

Bank of America Corp. and Wachovia Corp. are in the process of notifying more than 670,000 of their customers that their personal account information was stolen. The number of compromised accounts may top more than 1,000,000.

Credit-check company ChoicePoint is notifying 145,000 people that an ID theft ring gained access to the company's vital credit information. Law enforcement officials have discovered some 750 people who have been victims of identity theft as a result of the operation.

Worried about international terrorists getting into the country? Wait until your identity is stolen. You'll feel pretty terrorized. At the pace of data theft the whole country will be covered by this plague soon enough.

Stop worrying about gay marriage and Howard Stern saying "oral pleasure" on the radio. Light a fire under anyone in government who can help protect your personal data. At the pace of data theft the whole country will be covered by this plague soon enough. Maybe when enough elected officials get their identities stolen they'll protect yours. But don't bet on it. Best Buy and credit card companies, who have a huge interest in giving instant credit to anyone has a better lobbyists than you and me.


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