Thursday, September 07, 2006

How Convicts Legally Access Your DMV Data

Imagine hardened criminals such as murderers and
drug dealers regularly retrieving your highly personal
information as part of their prison job.


How-Convicts-Legally-Access-Your-DMV-Data-audio post - click to play

Well, if you resided in the state of Oregon during
2005 - this was the reality then and it may have been
occurring for as long as 17 years!

It seems, the state "DMV employed inbound call support
services from the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility."

What that means is, say you called into the DMV for
help. There was a 50% chance your call could either
be handled by a regular DMV employee -or- a
convicted criminal forced to work by a state
law
.

What type of information, then, could those convicted
murders and other hardened criminals have access to
that you wouldn't necessarily even want a stranger to
have?

Try these golden pieces of information highly prized
by just about any identity theft credit fraudster:

  • Your Full Name
  • Your Date of Birth (dob)
  • Your Driver's License Number
  • Vehicle Identification and Title Numbers

While the inmates who were convicted for identity
theft were prohibited from working within the prison
call support center, alarmingly those convicted of
drug offenses were.

With the reoccuring connection which has subsequently
emerged between crystal meth users and identity theft,
combined with the explosion of documented id theft
disclosures since 2005, we find what was allowed to
happen in Oregon as extremely appalling at best.

Here's why:

"In Nov. 2005, Portland Police discovered
the DMV records for 1999 to 2000 on a laptop
computer at a meth-house. The records
contained information on thousands of
individuals including their names, dates
of birth,home addresses, social security
numbers and credit scores.

Unfortunately, there is no law in Oregon that
would require the DMV to notify individuals
whose personal information was found in this
database."

At worst, it represents more of the short sighted
inept management decisions which have allowed over
90 million Americans to have had their most prized
and confidential personal information to have been
exposed since 2005.

So, our tip for today is to not leave your financial
well being and future in the hands of corrupt public
officials, misguided management policies, & ever
resourceful identity theft criminals.

Get your data out of the public domain as
much as humanly possible by utilizing opt out
rights.

Also, contact your local DMV to request your
personal information be restricted from wide
spread use as allowable within the laws of the
state you reside in.

Finally, make sure you regularly check your
public record profile for any criminal or
suspicious activity.

5 Comments:

At 6:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How could this ever happen in America where people who have been convicted of crimes against society are now put in a position to hurt the innocent with identity theft?

 
At 11:49 AM, Blogger agent99 said...

How could this happen in America?

Easily, mostly due to cost containment projects, organizations both public and private decided through out the 1990's to outsource customer support functions as a primary way to maintain profit level.

As a result, we have shifted the handling of sensitive consumer data to entities outside of the primary organization actually doing the data collection and who's legally responsible for it's security and safety.

Unfortunately, these wide spread outsourcing practice has resulted
in sub optimal arrangements like what we reported on in today's article.

Combining outsourcing with generally way to loose data security standards for 3rd party suppliers and the result is many unauthorized persons have access to highly confidential consumer data like in the prison customer support story.

Or in extreme instances, we've learned of inmates actually conducting identity theft from within prison itself:

See this

 
At 8:26 AM, Anonymous bkennedy said...

Everyday we learn of new ways that our personal information has and can be lost. We must continue to be vigilant in taking pro-active steps. The Oregon case is another example. With the average amount of time between ID theft and recognition of the theft being two years, people are at considerable risk. ID theft is like cancer in that it grows while you aren't even aware you are a victim; you need early detection; and you need a tried and true professional to restore you. Education and awareness are critical to protecting yourself personally, professionally, and financially.

 
At 12:32 AM, Anonymous JaymieP said...

Prevention aside, who's monitoring the monitors (FTC or other watch dog agencies of the government) to give us some added protection?

 
At 2:43 AM, Blogger agent99 said...

That's just it - no one - Congress is supposed to, but let's face it when was the last time they really did anything for anyone but themselves (and their lobbyists)?

The bottom line is we are on our own to defend against the army of identity thieves and hapless organizations which regularly put your personal data out into the risky world of cottage industry fraudsters.

 

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