by Mike Masnick

Shock: Identity Theft (Still) Often An Inside Job

from the just-realizing-this-now? dept

For years and years people have been pointing out that all those suggestions on how to avoid having your identity from getting stolen are pretty much useless considering how many ID theft scams are really inside jobs from companies who have access to all your data. So, of course, now that we're seeing all of these massive data leaks (some accidental, some on purpose by inside employees), we're hearing, yet again, that inside employees are one of the biggest issues in identity theft. Of course, if everyone has known this for so many years, how come no one's done anything about it? All of these companies that let minimum wage employees have full access to all your data and trusted them not to be tempted when scammers offer them $10 per report should be held responsible for not putting in place better systems to protect your data. This isn't a new problem by any means, and the fact that these companies chose to ignore it seems like negligence on their part.

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  1. identicon
    Bob, 13 Jun 2005 @ 9:10pm

    On the Choice to Ignore and Negligence..

    Eventually the law will be extended to deter this, imposing fines and/or imprisonment. Although it will take a few high profile thefts to occur to start the legislative ball rolling. Companies will come to be held liable for thefts of their data, even if they occur outside the jurisdiction of the U.S.

    A collector of data will come to be defined as a 'custodian of an instrument', with instrument defined as something that could cause irreparable harm.

    In the way a parent is responsible for leaving a drawer unlocked for a child to take a loaded gun, is the same as a collector leaving the drawer unlocked for a criminal to steal data; both the parent and collector are or should have been aware of the danger, in particular the likelihood of a crime being committed with the instrument, and accountability if a crime is committed with it (either the gun or the data respectively) as in this case both would be used as weapons to commit a crime.

    The fact that the child may not understand what she is doing, whereas the criminal does is irrelevant. The point is the custodian of the instrument understands, and therefore is responsible, and that is what is relevant.


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