When We Said Do Something, We Didn't Mean This

from the no-effort-on-our-part dept

The recent HP fiasco has brought the practice of “pretexting” — posing as another person in order to gain access to their private records, or a fancy word for what’s basically fraud — to light in a major way. But it’s been going on for some time, and attracted a lot of attention earlier when the services of “information brokers” that would get the records in exchange for a fee got some press. Mobile phone companies obfuscated the issue by saying “there oughta be a law”, instead of exploring just how and why their employees improperly released the information. Some politicians complied, but now some members of Congress have heeded the operators’ calls to “do something” — they’ve invited execs from three of the country’s biggest mobile phone companies to testify Friday in front of the same panel to which HP CEO Mark Hurd will pay a visit the day before. While it’s doubtful that this testimony will lead to any real change, it would certainly be nice to see these companies get grilled for their security and privacy shortcomings, rather than pass them off as a case of inadequate legislation. The issue of pretexting seems pretty clear: if mobile operators implemented better security, it wouldn’t be an issue at all.

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