Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


How Many Choicepoint Victims Are at Risk?

Choicepoint is a large credit bureau who denies being one. Yesterday, MSNBC reported that “more than 30,000 Californians” had been notified of problems. Now, no one opts-in to Choicepoint. No one can opt-out. They maintain files on you without your knowledge or permission. Now we know that at least 30,000 people were put at risk by criminal enterprises gathering data. But outside of California, we have no way of knowing how many.

In yesterday’s Toronto Star, Michael Geist makes the case that Canada should adopt a similar law. (Use Bugmenot [link to no longer works] for a login.) Perhaps its time for the US to do so as well.

[See also Chris Walsh’s comment [link to no longer works] which he wrote as I was working on this post.]

2 comments on "How Many Choicepoint Victims Are at Risk?"

  • Cypherpunk says:

    Cypherpunks have argued for years that people should have the right to remember what they want about others. Ultimately it is futile to try to restrict the flow of data by regulating credit agencies and others who remember things. Once data is out there, it is out for good.
    These regulations are actually counter-productive, because not only don’t they work, they give people a false feeling of security and confidence in our current account- and ID-based financial system. This undercuts any urge to go to a more privacy-protecting system based on well known cryptographic technologies which could go a long way towards fixing these problems.

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