Personal Data

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44678.gif I found this comic somewhere on Yahoo's Finance page. Hey, if you wanna pay my bills please send me an email and I'll set up.

What's scary is the breach over at LexisNexis. Everyone's personal information in the world (ok, maybe not everyone, but let's assume) is on a computer somewhere open on the internet. Sure it's under lock and key, but didn't these people that swiped 300,000 people's info from LexisNexis simply pose as a business that claimed to have a justification to snoop around in our personal records? So our info is open to anyone at a bank, lender, or any business in the finance world that has access to these databases.

Now what really scares me is what will happen if EVERYONE'S identity got stolen? Is it too far fetched to think that someone with the right access could hack say every united states citizen's info?

Imagine that. EVERYONE'S info. Then nobody would have an identity. Umm, how would I buy gas? Umm, and how would I keep the fridge full? Just use cash, right? Okay, I have a buck in my pocket and maybe Five in change at home. I don't carry cash, why when McDonald's takes credit.

And what would the banks do? Unless your teller knows you personally do you think they'll let any money out of that bank?

It's all too creepy for me to think about. There is no such thing as security on the web. Security is just a belief anyway, it's not concrete because you're only secure until it's too late.

What a dooms-day post right? Well, okay, maybe. If you need me I'll be filling my mattress up with greenbacks and stocking up on food and ammo :)


Look! Time Warner is missing employee info on some 600k past and current employees. An external storage company lost the tape backups that contained the data. The Secret Service is now investigating.



dude said:

I've thought alot about the same stuff you have. It can be scary, but you just got to be smart. I was the victim of identity theft back in about 1991 and it was low-tech, so it can happen without computers. Computers/Internet just make it possible to steal 300,000 identities at once. If you are worried about the LexisNexis deal, the Choice-Point scandal a few months ago was damn alarming because the theives didn't even break in!! They just used Choice-Point's own system against them and posed as customers for all this data that they aggregate.

Another thing to be VERY concerned about regarding this issue is the Patriot Act. The patriot Act makes it legal for banks to track all kinds of personal information for the uspposed reason of tracking terrorists, but the biggest use for this newfound ability has been for banks to aggregate data about their users and sell it to people like LexisNexis and Choice-Point. Renewal of the Patriot Act is being debated in congress right now. Call or write your congressmen and senators to express your views. The number to Capitol Hill is 800 839-5276, just ask for your congressmanís office. You can also write them online: and

My partial remedy to all this has been to opt out of alot of stuff. I do not use the discout cards at the grocery store (usually, you can get an anonymous one, if you ask). I gon't give out my social for hardly any reason (seems like everyone is asking for it these days). And I shred everything.


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This page contains a single entry by Will published on April 20, 2005 9:32 AM.

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