At Least The Data ID Thieves Have About You Is Wrong

from the small-comfort dept

It's not likely to be very comforting to the 145,000 or so people who had their personal data gift-wrapped and handed to identity thieves by ChoicePoint, but it turns out that many people who have seen their personal files from the company note that they're riddled with errors, including wrong addresses, relatives who don't exist, suggestions of criminal activity in places where they'd never been and (in at least one case) a claim that the person reading the report had actually died thirty years ago. Of course, the best part is that if you ask ChoicePoint how to fix these errors, the answer is "sorry, you can't do that." Apparently, they want to make sure that future identity thieves have access to the same false info too.

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  1. identicon
    Tim M, 9 Mar 2005 @ 9:31pm

    Who wants ChoicePoint CEO's home number?

    From ATL's "Creative Loafing" rag...
    Who wants ChoicePoint CEO's home number?

    ChoicePoint is one of the largest distributors of personal information in the world. The company sells its dossiers (it has one on virtually every man, woman and child in America) to insurance companies, businesses conducting background checks, and the federal government.
    ChoicePoint also recently sold personal information - including Social Security numbers, driver's license numbers, home addresses and phone numbers - of at least 145,000 people to a Nigerian identity thief. Whoops!
    Because CEOs of large companies are sometimes hard to get in touch with, we thought that those victims whose identities were stolen would have an easier time voicing their concerns if they had ChoicePoint CEO Derek V. Smith's home phone number and address.
    We admit, publishing someone's personal info without his or her permission is kind of rude. But selling such info is how Smith makes a living, so he can't be opposed to it, right? After all, Smith earns about $17 million annually in salary, bonuses, stock options and other compensation.
    ChoicePoint's logic for selling the records is that the data is public record (aside from credit reports, for which an individual must grant permission for ChoicePoint to access). Well, the info we're about to give is public, too. It sort of takes on a different sheen, though, when it's lumped together for public consumption, huh, Derek?
    So here it is, Smith's home number: 770-667-5775. (If you'd rather write him, his address is 15120 N. Valleyfield Road, Alpharetta, GA, 30004.)
    If you do call or write him, be sure to wish him a belated happy birthday. Using Web searches, we found Smith was born in February 1955.
    Incidentally, we also unearthed, in public records, the floor plan of Smith's and his wife Lisa's 9,223-square-foot home, which was last appraised at $1.4 million.
    Just thought you'd like to know.

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