Why Keep Personal Information On A Laptop, When It's Much Easier To Steal On A CD?

from the good-work,-idiot dept

In story after story about data leaks stemming from a lost or stolen laptop, one question that's never answered very well is why people are carrying so much personal information on portable devices anyway. But why bother with the inconvenience of a laptop, when you could just put the social security numbers and other information of 75,000 of your customers on a CD without any encryption and make things so much easier for would-be identity thieves? That's what a boneheaded subcontractor for a health insurance company did, and now -- surprise, surprise -- the disc has gone missing. The insurance company is making the standard offer of a year of credit monitoring to those whose information was on the CD, but since the offending party didn't work directly for it, rather for another contractor, it sounds as if it won't be able to take any action against the subcontractor. So, it sounds like nothing's changing, and companies are remaining careless with personal information because there's no reason for them to protect it.
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  1. identicon
    Tyshaun, 15 Mar 2007 @ 7:06pm

    Re: Re: HIPAA

    The only reason HIPAA applies is that this particular instance was about an insurance company. No, it does not apply to credit card companies, and in fact, a lot of CC companies write the fine print of their contracts such that you authorize them to distribute your information as they please (for instance, report your credit status to the credit bureaus). Given that fact, I'm not even sure a law written to penalize the situation described would even work for a company where you sign an authorization for them to distribute your information.

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