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New Jersey DMV Employees Caught Selling Identities 279

phaedrus5001 writes "Ars has an article about two New Jersey DMV employees who have been accused of selling personal information they routinely had access to. The NJ prosecutor's office claims (PDF) their investigation 'uncovered that two employees of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission were providing the names, addresses, dates of birth and social security numbers of unsuspecting residents that they obtained through their employment. They were charging as little as $200 per identity.'"
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New Jersey DMV Employees Caught Selling Identities

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  • Re:SSNs? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Narcocide ( 102829 ) on Monday November 28, 2011 @02:03PM (#38192662) Homepage

    I've seen employers use it as the employee ID too. One place I worked at you had to type your SSN in to a physical console twice a shift (to punch in and out.)

  • by vlm ( 69642 ) on Monday November 28, 2011 @02:23PM (#38192854)

    No DMV (and no vehicle registrations, or safety regulations, or license plates, or insurance?)

    The following licenses I have, or previously held, none of which are "IDs" requiring SS number:
    ham radio license
    former private pilot license (maybe this has changed to photo now?)
    former fishing license
    several former military operators licenses including really weird stuff like immersion heater (I kid you not) and RTFL rough terrain forklift
    my library card is functionally a license as opposed to an ID card
    my old non-photo college ID card (I guess those are mostly photo "real forms of ID" now?). It was mainly used at the library and to pay for photocopies.
    My temp drivers license when I was 15 until I passed my formal DL test had no "id" properties, it just gave me permission to drive with a parent in the car supervising me.

    Functionally American drivers license functionality is merged with ID card functionality, as if any separation is impossible, but its certainly not required. None of the stuff you listed requires ID directly, although registration title transfer is gonna require the services of a notary, and the notary will demand an ID, or the DMV personnel could operate as notaries, ending up right where we started...

  • Re:SSNs? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Urza9814 ( 883915 ) on Monday November 28, 2011 @02:49PM (#38193182)

    Once upon a time these were supposed to be a Secret number that you only shared with the government and an employer.

    No. SSNs were NEVER supposed to be private. It's a freakin account number. The problem isn't them being used publicly, the problem is them being assumed private.

  • Re:SSNs? (Score:5, Informative)

    by mcgrew ( 92797 ) * on Monday November 28, 2011 @03:26PM (#38193560) Homepage Journal

    Are you kidding, or are you young? Keeping SS#s secret is a new thing. Hell, they used to print your SS# on your driver's license. ID theft didn't become a big problem until the internet.

  • by icebraining ( 1313345 ) on Monday November 28, 2011 @03:46PM (#38193798) Homepage

    Our ID card here in Portugal is a smartcard with a key pair. When connected to an appropriate reader, it can provide copies of the public key or sign stuff with the private key (without ever copying it to the machine).
    You don't need a smartphone, a data plan or know what is a key pair or even that your card has one.

    If you want to authenticate when physically present, just insert it in their reader and input the PIN (as said, the private key will NOT be copied out of the card, so it's safe).

    If you want to authenticate online with it, you just need a $16 reader (available on big retail stores) which is supported by IE, Firefox, Safari and Chrome, using PKCS#11 or similar.
    Again, no need to understand how it works - the follow the simple steps on the site.

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