Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Database giant gives access to fake firms

MSNBC - Database giant gives access to fake firms

The only reason I'm putting this on my mx blog is because I did a TON of work integrating the Equifax identity verification products with ColdFusion. It works pretty good, but there is so much room for abuse, it's not funny.

I find this especially egregious. ChoicePoint is, for the most part, providing it's customers with a branded reselling of Equifax's consumer credit database. About a year ago, I wrote Senator Sarbanes (who was chairman of the Senate Banking Committee) and asked him to look into the off-shoring of the databases of the main credit reporting companies. All three (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) have moved their identity validation data services to foreign countries. Senator Sarbanes' office wrote back that they were aware of the situation and they were going to do nothing about it.

This seems like it could be a threat to national security. All of the linked pieces of data in these databases exist to appropriate the identity of almost all American citizens. Your ssn, your phone numbers including cell phones, all of your previous addresses as well as your entire credit history are collected and cross-referenced. These collections of data should be much more strictly controlled.

Sorry for the rant.

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