Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Dickie's Securities

ChoicePoint, again. Bruce Schneier pointed out that in the prior link to the SEC 8-k filing, there was this choice quote about the reported 145,000 people who may have had their private information stolen due to ChoicePoint's lax security:

Approximately 35,000 of these consumers are California residents, and approximately 110,000 are residents of other states. These numbers were determined by conducting searches of our databases that matched searches conducted by customers who we believe may have had unauthorized access to our information products on or after July 1, 2003, the effective date of the California notification law. Because our databases are constantly updated, our search results will never be identical to the search results of these customers.

In other words, they don't know if only those 145,000 people may have been affected. It may be more - many more. And ChoicePoint says that it isn't going to bother to try and find out because laws and regulations don't require it to do so.

As this article on MSNBC relates, the rest of the media are starting to understand the bigger picture of the problems with digital dossiers and the companies that make them, like ChoicePoint, through data aggregation. What happens when the data is faulty? How do you know? How can you correct it? What if you don't want it disclosed, but still want to participate in this wired world and not be a luddite? Don't care? Then, what happens when the data involves your children? Care now? You should and so should your lawmakers.

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