Why Now?
Sunday, February 27, 2005
  Who Wins & Who Loses
I had an earlier post on the Choicepoint problem, which gets even nastier as noted by Cookie Jill at the miniscule marsupial, including information on some Choicepoint executives going for the gold by emulating Martha Stewart.

Jill also covers this Bank Of America Security Lapse covered by CBS.

But the important story for ordinary people is this CBS article An Identity Theft Nightmare.

This whole mess needs a rewrite and the responsibility laid at the feet of those who profit. The corporations are the one's gathering the information that makes such large scale thefts possible. The corporations are the one's who are failing to protect their systems.

After the individual discovers that their identity has been stolen there should be a central registry that would be notified when the police report is filed. Since companies like Choicepoint don't tell you that they are gathering your information, how can you be responsible for notifying them that you are the victim of a crime? Understand that most of what credit bureaus collect is considered "private" information, but your status as the victim of a crime is "public" information. Why are you, as an individual, required to inform these companies of public information?

There should be a central database paid for by the companies that profit from the collection of consumer information. When you file a report about identity fraud, and only when you file such a report, your name and account numbers should be entered into the database by a police agency. Companies and courts should recognize this database as proof that you have become a victim.

The companies should then be required to provide the originating police agency with records of suspect transactions, rather than requiring police agencies to obtain subpoenas for each of them. [Hey, I had to do it. It was a pain even with a release from the victim, and judges don't appreciate it either. It's a waste of taxpayers' time and money.]

Victims shouldn't have to go court repeatedly to prove to yet another company that the company failed to verify the identity of the person they'd given credit. My Dad died 15 years ago and companies are still sending credit card offers to him.


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