Data Sellers Claim They Want To Be Regulated

from the yeah.--right. dept

In what must be an attempt at saving some level of credibility, the chief executives of both ChoicePoint and LexisNexis are saying they would support a federal law mandating disclosure, if someone's private data was exposed. It all sounds good, considering these two firms were both recently caught exposing info, whether by selling it to identity thieves or just letting them sneak in and take the data. However, if they really believed this, wouldn't they have just done what such a law would mandate and tell people their data had been exposed? Why would they need a law to do that if they already agree it's the right thing to do? The answer is because they don't really think it's the right thing to do, as evidenced by the fact that they didn't do it in the past when they had exposed data. They're just saying this to Congress because they don't know what else to say at this point.
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  1. identicon
    Matt Brubeck, 15 Mar 2005 @ 5:14pm


    There's a good reason these companies might support regulation.

    Without regulation (or other incentives, like liability), a company that spent more than necessary on disclosure would place itself at a disadvantage; it couldn't compete on a level playing field with companies that don't bother with unnecessary disclosure. The unscrupulous companies would end up taking business from the scrupulous ones, and the public would lose out.

    With regulation, a company like ChoicePoint can make the sacrifices involved in full disclosure, knowing that their competitors are facing the same burdens.

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