(Mis)Uses of Technology

by Carlo Longino

Senators Worried About Abuses Of Student Loan Personal Info

from the secure-like-a-sieve dept

Students who borrow money to pay for school are no strangers to junk mail and telemarketing calls from loan companies. Now, some senators are concerned that the companies are getting their marketing and contact information from a government database of borrowers to which they shouldn't have access. Borrowers' records in the database are only supposed to be accessed by companies that have their permission, or that have a financial relationship with them, but the amount of solicitations and marketing materials many students receive from a wide array of companies makes it fairly obvious that this isn't the case. This story comes amid a wider scandal in the student-loan industry, with officials from several schools accused of receiving kickbacks from loan companies, and allegations of lax oversight from a government department stacked with ex-employees from the companies they're supposed to be watching over. But the security hole is also representative of the government's lack of interest in protecting personal data. If federal and state governments can't be bothered to secure the information, it's probably unreasonable to expect them to do anything to make sure the private sector takes security seriously either.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Fred Flint, Apr 17th, 2007 @ 5:23am

    What Did you Expect?

    I don't think the point here is that the State and Federal governments can't be bothered to secure personal data.

    I think the point is that personal data has a high monetary value and we're living in a capitalist world where "greed, for lack of a better word... is good".

    The U.S. is slowly selling itself to its' enemies, mostly via the national debt.

    If the government is willing to do this, how do you figure government staff aren't going to pick up on it and grab a piece of the pie for themselves?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    You never know, Apr 17th, 2007 @ 5:36am

    Go figure. Telemarketers pay through the nose for potential customer lists, and anyone who has access to the data can sell a copy that is then circulated around so fast no one could possibly track it back to the source. As long as peoples private information is so wholesale available to anyone who makes a claim they have a right to it this issue will never go away. Unless some one of political power gets dinged there is little incentive for the government to do anything about it. The only thing we as the potential victims are going to be able to do is to educate ourselves and take diligent action to protect our information, including doing with out the fancy loan.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Overcast, Apr 17th, 2007 @ 6:19am

    Yeah, I'll agree - there are most certainly problems with the student loan system, it sucks big time now.

    And, perhaps that does a LOT to explain why I get junk mail and crap, as I never really use my real address for most things. Sorry, if there's not a legit reason for a company to have my real address, they don't get it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Dam, Apr 17th, 2007 @ 6:31am


    Not entirely true. If purchased from a legit source, names are "rented" and cannot be resold. Any list marketer with an ounce of brains "salts" the list with a number of names that will report abuse of the list if they receive a call or piece of mail that was not allowed.

    Unlike spammers who often pass around tons of email lists (because they're all scum) prospect lists are fairly controlled.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Astrid, Apr 17th, 2007 @ 10:19am

    Did you know that Sallie Mae employees are in Indi

    What about the fact that Sallie Mae CS reps are located in India? How secure is my private information? I'm paying back my student loan and when I have to call the toll free number, every time now I'm talking to someone in India. What really pissed me off is that they refuse to admit where they are, even though Sallie Mae is a quasi-government agency, and this involves taxpayer money. If they were in Idaho, the CSR would say yeah we're in Boise, it's ten below zero today. How's the weather in SF? Instead, I'm told 'Ma'am, I'm not allowed to tell you what country I'm in.'

    Shouldn't an American be employed if this is American taxpayer dollars at work?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    awwtbone, Apr 17th, 2007 @ 11:43am

    Student Loan SpAm

    I signed up for a grant last year cause... Who doesn't love Free Money?

    Needless to say, I get mail weekly, emails daily, and telemarketers right when i sit down to dinner.
    GO Gov't, GO! they couldnt give my name out fast enough....

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Fairy, Dec 23rd, 2008 @ 4:23am

    I got a grant from the federal government for $12,000 in financial aid

    I got a grant from the federal government for $12,000 in financial aid, see how you can get one also at http://couponredeemer.com/federalgrants/

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 20th, 2009 @ 5:42am

    As we all know, nearly almost plastic products around you was made through plastic injection molding – the mouse you are using to click, the PET containers you use to store water or food, and also China printing can help us made the labels to attract potential customers and steel and aluminum made scaffolding made for the purpose of construction and renovation works.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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