Id Theft Alerts

November 18, 2009
Two Notification Bills Advance in the Senate

Two data breach notification laws are making their way through the Senate.  The first is the Data Breach Notification Act, sponsored by Dianne Feinstein.  If passed would allow the attorney general to sue businesses in civil court for failure to notify consumers of data breaches.

The Personal Data Privacy and Security Act, sponsored by  Patrick Leahy and Orrin Hatch is a more comprehensive bill.  It sets notification requirements, requires preventative measures and introduce criminal penalties.

Both bills have passed the Judiciary Committee and are moving to the full Senate.
Google Privacy Dashboard

Ever wondered what data Google was collecting about you?  Now you can see with the Google Dashboard. With your Google Account you can see what information is being stored about you on the various websites controlled by the company.
Manhattan DA Charges ID Theft Ringleader

A 27 year old computer technician has been charged with stealing the identities of 150 employees of the Bank of New York Mellon where he worked.  The information led to $1.1 million in thefts. He used the information to open accounts at over 30 banks and brokerages from 2001 to 2009.  Personal details of the defendant were not released. [full story]

The biggest threat to private data remains internal sources.  There is little evidence it has been stolen and there are usually much lower barriers to get through.
New Mexico Identity Theft Ring Broken Up

New Mexico police have broken up an identity theft ring.  What is interesting is where they were able to get the information.  Three sources used were stolen purses, stolen records from the DMV and from stolen mail.  Apparently the group had a postmaster key that allowed them to access any mailbox. [full story]

When mailing information there is not substitute for going to the post office.  Better yet, move to electronic statements and bill paying. The security is better, the fraud is found faster, and you save a tree or two.
Moving to electronic records?  Don't forget to redact your documents before posting them online.
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