TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Is Your Identity Safe?

Re: Is Your Identity Safe?
25 Feb 2005 13:09:23 -0800

Marcus Didius Falco wrote:

> How many times have you been asked for your personal financial
> information and you gave it up without protest?

Whether you protest or not is irrelevent. It's either provide the
information or not get served. Thanks to concentration of businesses
and services, it's harder and harder to go somewhere else.

> Any one of those items is treasured by identity thieves. And if you've
> been following the news lately, you should be very concerned about
> identity theft.

Yes, you should be. Especially since the authorities may not be doing
enough about it.

In a recent article in the Phila Inqr, the govt did nothing to go
after a thief because the value failed to reach a high enough
threshhold (there was only one victim). The thief didn't use a
sophisticated computer program. Rather, the thief simply copied the
victim's driver's license where he briefly worked as a used car
salesman, then left town.

There is nothing to stop say a restaurant waiter or drugstore clerk
from copying your information illegally, then using it themselves or
passing it on. Given that many of these jobs are lowpaid and very
transitory, the opportunity and motivation for theft is much higher.

Unfortunately, today's world virtually mandates risky transactions --
extensive use of credit cards and other personal data just to get by.

I don't know the solution.

I do think having a minimal threshhold before prosecuting is very
foolish; they should go aggressively after anyone involved in identity
theft. Having draconian punishments will mean nothing when the
thieves know their risk of getting caught is nil; you will discourage
theft by a high certainty of getting caught and punished, even with a
low sentence.

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