Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Risks of Data Collection and Use

David Cowan tells a sad story about his experience with unauthorized data collection and use in “Freshman Week.” Speaking of unauthorized data collection and use, Jonathan Krim reports that “License-Screening Measure Could Benefit Data Brokers:”

Jason King, spokesman for the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, said commercial data brokers are notorious for refusing to correct their databases if they contain erroneous information.

“We worry that it’s garbage in, garbage out,” King said. By contrast, he said, states verify Social Security numbers directly with the Social Security Administration and are developing a system to authenticate birth certificates.

Even folks at AAMVA, who have never met a privacy invasion they didn’t like, don’t like this one. (Oh, and Choicepoint says they didn’t lobby for it. So who did?)

The bill would be a form of corporate welfare, where the data broker selected would be able to use the data, collected under threat of criminal penalties, to “correct” and “update” their other data. This is the same thing that the national change of address forms do; give your new address to every marketer in the country, under color of “updating” their records.

Why should we give these unregulated, irresponsible companies like Lexis-Nexis this bit of help?

(Thanks to Alice of Presto Vivace for the pointer, and the corporate welfare angle.)

One comment on "Risks of Data Collection and Use"

  • The Perverse Power Of Data Brokers

    Congress is talking about data brokers like ChoicePoint, and you’re just gonna love what they’re saying. ‘Under a provision of a major highway bill, state motor vehicles departments would have to establish an “information-based” authentication program…

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