Wednesday, September 13, 2006

AOL Has Identity Theft Covered for You

AOL-Has-Identity-Theft-Covered-for-You-audio post - click to play

In an interesting move to restore trust with
their members, AOL announced this week
to cover the cost of identity theft insurance
for paid subscribers of their unlimited and
broadband access plans.

The identity theft insurance, provided by AIG, will
provide up to $10,000 to aid AOL members
to restore
their identity and credit. This offer
would be regardless of how their Social Security
Number (ssn), bank account or other personal
information became compromised.

Even though the AIG offer is a secondary policy
to the member's pre-existing homeowner or renters
insurance, this announcement is an encouraging sign
there is actually some hope that American business
is willing to put some actual good faith"skin in the
game" with consumers for the protection of your
confidential data.

Coming on the heels of last month's highly embarassing
episode where AOL released to the internet the detailed
search records of over 600,000 members resulting in
their loss of privacy, this identity theft protection
offer is a small step in the right direction towards
restoring consumer trust.

Not quite as far as we would like to see in terms
of an aggressive stance against identity theft by
an American company who's "accidently" exposed
consumer information to the world wide web.

Just consider had AOL really stepped it
up big time
and offered not credit insurance,
but rather "free"
credit monitoring for as
long as you are a subscriber.

But hey, we give credit where credit is due - even it's
a small step in the right direction for companies to take a
more proactive approach to insuring the customer's
information safety is a requirement and not an option
in striving towards profitability.

So, our tip for today is if you are currently a premium
service level subcriber to American Online (AOL), contact
them to get your "free" identity theft insurance.

Also, make sure to tell a friend or associate about this
important new development.


At 7:06 AM, Anonymous boxman said...

Nice offer from Aol, but I see a disturbing trend being continued here.

1) Accidently disclose personal information

2) Issue a public apology

3) Offer a token gift of some "free" time period for credit insurance or monitoring

Wouldn't it be just great if these companies who are so good at losing our data just do a much better job of protecting it first.

Also, if Congress passed a law requiring them to actually pay a hefty fine for each person's data they lose or expose, that would serve as an effective deterrent to all of these "accidental" lost data, right?


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