Tag Archives: breach

Starbucks Sued After Data Breach

If you own a company and haven’t yet put together a comprehensive identity theft plan for your company, please contact us for more information (at no cost to you).
For those of you who are CITRMS certified, or are benefits specialists speaking to companies about their need to pprotect themselves against data breach lawsuits, here’s an article from NetworkWorld.com that you may want to print to take with you on appointments.

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Iron Clad Protection for Personal and Business Laptop Computers

The public has become more and more aware of using safe practices to protect themselves from identity theft. People are opting out of credit cards offers, shredding mail, carefully screening e-mails and using anti-spyware and keylogger programs. These practices help people avoid having their personal information stolen from their mail box or on-line, but what happens if your laptop itself is stolen? What happens then? And what if it is from a business, organization or government agency? How do we protect the information on our laptops?

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UK Government Data Breach in The Postal Service

A massive data breach in the United Kingdom demonstrates how easy it is for sensitive data to be compromised.
Two CDs containing the personal information of almost every child under the age of 16 and their parents in the U.K. have gone missing. (That’s 25 million people who belong to 7.25 million families.)
The data, compiled for the payment of certain social benefits, includes each child’s name, address, date of birth, sex, and National Insurance number, the parents’ and any partners’ information, and in some cases, the family’s bank account details.

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Number one in Identity Theft?

How do you become known as the #1 bank in America for helping protect people from Identity Theft?
Well, it’s quite simple actually.
The Javelin Strategy and Research firm, which evaluated 24 major banks, awarded the top three banks similar marks for their ability to help protect customer data. Here’s some of the strong points, from the last year or so, that you should consider if you wish to be among the top three.
First, it would be a good idea to lose 2.6 million customer records belonging to Circuit City credit card holders. Accidentally take the records to a landfill and bury them.
Next, you could find yourself among the best by allowing several data breaches to take place. Accidently leave digital doors open, or even physical doors, so that your customers’ information can leave with a criminal. Make sure that when you’re shipping information, you use a company that will lose data tapes for 145,000 government and military cardholders.
After that, make sure that your executives have limitless access to sell customer information for personal and corporate gain, and while you’re at it, incentivize employees to open new accounts in the name of your customers.

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New York Times Data Breaches article

The New York Times pubished an article yesterday which has a kind of tongue-in-cheek approach to the data theft which has been taking place at companies around the United States and Canada.

A survey of 484 United States-based information technology departments within business or governmental organizations…found, among other things, that more than half of corporate laptops contained unprotected sensitive data, that one in 10 laptops is stolen and that 97 percent of those are never recovered. The study also found that 81 percent of firms reported that an “electronic storage device such as a laptop” specifically containing sensitive or confidential information had been lost or stolen in the past year.


If nothing else, the Commerce Department can be comforted by the fact that its loss of 1,137 laptops over the last five years is hardly unusual.


This kind of toungue-in-cheek comment is sort of the way I approach identity theft. The problem is so big, and the misinformation in the marketplace so prevalent, that, as the NYT states; “the volume of lost consumer data remains almost comically epidemic.”
The biggest problem is that our social security numbers are so valuable, and so universally used.
But that’s not going to change any time too soon. The lobbies for insurance, credit, and the banking industry as a whole are simply too large, and too powerful, for any smaller initiative to achieve any really valuable change in the way our social security numbers are used. (I will be talking about an interesting patent tomorrow though.)

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