“One of the nation’s biggest information services has begun warning more than 100,000 people across the country they may be targets of fraud, following disclosures the company inadvertently sold personal and financial records to fraud artists apparently involved in a massive identity theft scheme.
ChoicePoint Inc. electronically delivered thousands of reports containing names, addresses, Social Security numbers, financial information and other details to people in the Los Angeles area posing as officials in legitimate debt collection, insurance and check-cashing businesses.
At least 700 victims have had their mailing addresses changed, apparently by people connected to the scheme, authorities said [...]
[...] “This is an issue that goes beyond ChoicePoint. They’re just one company,” said James X. Dempsey, executive director of the Center for Democracy and Technology, which advocates for privacy and computer security. “Both the industry and Congress need to pay attention to the security of personal information.”
Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, said the case raises important questions about who is responsible when companies are tricked into releasing data. “Companies such as ChoicePoint are operating with too little oversight,” he said [...]”
SOURCE: Washington Post
Note: Wired News also has an interesting article on this today.