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Personal Info of 3.5 Million Texans Was Publicly Accessible 146

SpaceGhost writes "The Houston Chronicle reports, 'Personal information of about 3.5 million Texans — including names, mailing addresses and Social Security numbers — was posted on a publicly accessible server at the state comptroller's office, much of it for more than a year.' Many of the records were for retired teachers and the unemployed, and they sometimes included DOB and drivers license numbers."
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Personal Info of 3.5 Million Texans Was Publicly Accessible

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  • Re:So? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NevarMore ( 248971 ) on Monday April 11, 2011 @05:42PM (#35786348) Homepage Journal

    All it takes is a simple law and this shit could stop next week.

    Yep, because laws stop people from doing stupid and illegal things.

  • Re:So? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dachannien ( 617929 ) on Monday April 11, 2011 @05:56PM (#35786486)

    Forbidding the collection of SSNs isn't really the answer. The banking industry will just devise some other unique key that people will need to provide so that credit checks and such can be run, and then that key will become the center of risk.

    The real answer is to make this information worthless by requiring banks to actually follow up and ensure that a new credit line requestor is the person they claim to be before opening the new credit line. Currently, the banks do everything they can to prevent themselves from eating the loss, but they don't do much to prevent the loss in the first place. They push as much as possible onto merchants and individual consumers. It's worth more to them to open instant credit lines virtually anonymously than to eat the occasional loss, and until that changes, the rest of us will continue to suffer from financial predation by third-world organized criminals.

  • Re:So? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by countertrolling ( 1585477 ) on Monday April 11, 2011 @06:11PM (#35786638) Journal

    The banking industry will just devise some other unique key...

    Yeah... That's the idea. The bank, insurance, and other industries and departments are supposed to use their own unique to them ID system. Now a thief would need to break into all those different databases. IT is up to all of us to resist allowing them to use the SSN. Just say no.. The law doesn't prohibit that.

  • Re:So? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Monday April 11, 2011 @06:12PM (#35786652) Journal
    Arguably, we should be much more worried about the financial predation of first-world organized criminals: The banks and the credit rating agencies and similar such institutions are the ones who make it trivially easy to act in other people's names, in order to move their product more easily and cheaply, and then attempt to sidestep the losses from fraud by hounding the people whose names were used.

    The only predation by third-world organized criminals that occurs directly against the end user consists of 419 scams. The rest of it consists of various sorts of bank fraud that the banks aren't sufficiently motivated to take measures against; but are willing to put those whose names are used through the wringer.

    It's very clever, really: "Identity theft" makes it your problem. Admitting that it is "bank fraud" would make it their problem.
  • Re:unemployed (Score:2, Insightful)

    by AK Marc ( 707885 ) on Monday April 11, 2011 @06:53PM (#35786992)
    If she didn't apply for unemployment, then she wasn't unemployed. She was just "not working."

    Why the distinction? Because there are millions of "not working" people who the government chooses to exclude from the unemployment lists to help keep the appearance of unemployment low.
  • Re:Phew! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pclminion ( 145572 ) on Monday April 11, 2011 @07:04PM (#35787086)
    Why should we pay for the unemployment program from our own taxes and then altruistically choose not to benefit from it? I guess you enjoy paying into the system and having leeches collect on it. Sorry dude, I've been paying taxes into this program since I got out of high school and you're fucking crazy if you think I won't take the benefit if and when I'm eligible for it.

No extensible language will be universal. -- T. Cheatham