Think installing fingerprint readers will keep your information secure? Think again. Tsutomu Matsumato of the Yakohama National University was able to fool 80% of the fingerprint readers tested by creating “gummy fingers.” The fingerprints to make the fake fingers were taken from drinking glasses. The process requires only a digital camera, “gummi bear” gelatin and glue, all things widely available.
Just something to think about the next time you use a glass at your favorite restaurant.
Brenda Sue Moore, a Shreveport Hospital Employee, was arrested last month for stealing the identity of Jermone Holland. The disturbing part of the story is how she obtained his personal information.
Brenda is a clerk at the LSU Medical Center and took the information from Jerome after he and his wife were airlifted to the hospital on February 11th. Both died as a result of injuries suffered in a car crash.
Brenda was caught when she had items purchased online in Jerome’s name delivered to her apartment. She is still under investigation for the theft of additional persons.
Advice: It is good idea to notify the three credit agencies when you lose a relative.
Today 180,000 more people joined a list of consumers who have had their personal information either exposed or stolen by third parties that failed to adequately protect it.
The latest incident, which came to light today, was exposed when HSBC Holdings began notifying customers who use a popular General Motors-branded MasterCard that their personal information may have been exposed due to a breach in the computer systems of an unnamed national retailer.
The company, according to sources close to the situation, is clothing retailer Polo Ralph Lauren, and PRL customers who used cards from other banks, brands and credit card associations have also been affected.
HSBC is the only card issuer to notify customers so far, but the total number of affected consumers across all card issuers could be considerably higher. There is no evidence yet that the compromised accounts have been used fraudulently, but HSBC is nonetheless urging customers to replace their cards.
On February 15th, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that under negligence principles, the union of 911 operators owed its members a duty of care when handling their personal information. The union was aware that confidential information was being removed from its premises but did not develop procedural safeguards to ensure the security of the information. The court found that it was foreseeable that the information could be misused and the members would suffer harm. This ruling demonstrates that FACTA only codifies the duty that organizations have to protect their members’ personal information.
Advice: If you collect or maintain customers’ or members’ personal information you must develop and practice procedural safeguards to ensure the security of the information.