Wednesday, May 25, 2005

A Matter of Public Record

A Washington Post article about one tactic to raise attention to the enormous amount of what people think of as private, personally identifying information that is easily available to anyone with access to the Internet.

Betty (but call her BJ) Ostergren, a feisty 56-year-old from just north of Richmond, is driven to make important people angry. She puts their Social Security numbers on her Web site, or links to where they can be found...

Her formula is simple: Target a county, locate personal data on hundreds of residents, send them letters telling them how much of their personal information is or might be exposed online, and urge them to pressure their local officials.
Of course, the horse is long gone from this barn, but an amazing number of organizations are identity theft enablers, acting as though knowing some subset of name, address, telephone number, Social Security Number, and mother's maiden name prove that you are who you say you are.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment