While some companies and groups are still forcing would-be identity thieves to go to the trouble of stealing laptops to grab personal information from people, a department of the Connecticut state government saw an opportunity to save them some effort, and posted the names and Social Security numbers of 1,700 employees online. The state claims that because the list was available only by searching for a name and wasn't linked anywhere (to its knowledge, anyway), the risk of identity theft is low. That may be true, but it hardly excuses the data leak. This sort of "there's nothing to worry about" attitude about identity theft and data leaks really does nothing to help solve the problem, nor does downplaying threats and losses. The problem is that stupidity is beating malice as the reason for these leaks: whether it's by leaving data, encrypted or not, on laptops, or posting it online inadvertently, incompetence is proving a significant threat to otherwise innocent consumers.
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