Although this is slightly off topic, the artist, J.S.G. Boggs has been drawing his own money for several years now. Known as 'Boggs bills'. They may resemble US currency and are typically worth many times their face value denominated in dollars. Boggs has used his bills to pay for many things including meals in restaurants, hotel rooms, and airplane tickets. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._S._G._Boggs. Boggs has created art (scarcity) as money where the original is worth infinitely more than the digital copy of the 'content'.
There is a US artist, JSG Boggs who does one sided bank notes by hand that are sometimes replicas of different currencies. Boggs has created his own currency called Boggs notes that he uses to pay for different services (meals, hotel rooms, etc.) The bills wind up being far more valuable than whatever the equivalent was in US dollars at the time of the original transaction. He has found himself in trouble with the US Treasury and had exhibitions of his art shut down in Australia and England.
One useful way to understand this problem is as a negative externality. Just as a paper mill that pollutes a river as a negative by-product of its production process, the credit industry by granting easy credit and failing to secure customer data has made identity fraud an attractive crime to the detriment of the public. To make matters worse, the credit industry blames the individual - shred your personal documents, be careful about revealing your personal information, etc. According to the economist Ronald Coase, a negative externality should be dealt with if the cost of doing so is less than the cost of the negative externality itself and it should be done in the least cost way. Clean up the river or stop polluting it in the first place? My choice for the credit industry is to make data breaches so costly through fines that they have to remove the structural causes.
Another analogy is to the use of ATMs. Some bright person in the banking industry thought it would be a good idea to stock machines with a bunch of money and put them in all kinds of sketchy locations, 24/7. When the crime of robbing people when they took out money became popular, banks blamed the victim. Be more careful, don't use ATMs in bad neighborhoods. Somehow they figured out that they had liability so they improved the lighting and cut the shrubbery around ATMs, and most importantly added video cameras. By taking seriously their responsibility for security around ATMs they eliminated the negative externality of those robberies. Making data theft unattractive at the source via heavy fines, would lead those who traffic in personal information to find creative solutions to the problem of data theft.
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