[EAS]Selling Birth Records

pjk pjk at design.eng.yale.edu
Fri Nov 30 00:21:00 EST 2001

Subject:   Selling Birth Records

(from NewsScan Daily, 29 November 2001)

The State of California has sold the birth data of California
residents to  a privately operated genealogy Web site that can now be
used to retrieve  such personal data as someone's place of birth or
mother's maiden name -- information frequently used as identifying
information for purposes of  accessing bank accounts and making
various kinds of financial transactions.  State Senator Jackie Spier
(D, San Mateo) warns: "The time has come for us to recognize that
identity theft has become a big problem. The fact that this
information is public should raise a red flag."
(San Jose Mercury News 29 Nov 2001)

Dear Colleagues -

This is not the only process by which personal data can get 'dumped,'
e.g. see <http://www.yale.edu/engineering/eng-info/msg00776.html>. In
any case, recall how much can be done with such data, i.e.
<http://www.yale.edu/engineering/eng-info/msg00686.html>. I should
mention that since the time of that article  Docusearch
<http://docusearch.com/> has removed some of their more egregious
offerings, like bank account statements and telephones. These are
still said to be easily available to private investigators, outside
the legal channels that you see on "Law & Order."

And I need hardly remind you of the massive instances of identity
theft that are possible with some personal data as a starting point:

All the best in the information age,  --PJK

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