Thursday, November 30, 2006

IHOP Privacy Invasion

Who would ever believe your driver's license
is required simply to get pancakes? In a
instance without corporate approval, a suburban
Boston outlet of International House of Pancakes
(IHOP) had invaded the privacy of it's customers.

IHOP-Privacy-Invastion-audio-post - click   to play

It seems, customers were required to leave their
driver's license with a security guard as a
requirement to be seated for service. Evidently
this particular IHOP outlet had previously been
the victim of non paying customers.

What helped to expose this incident as an invasion of
privacy, was a former identity theft victim was taken
aback by that local IHOP's request for his personal

A driver's license contains primary information which
many retailers use to verify identity against credit
cards and check cashing transactions. In the hands
of an identity thief "data collector" it's worth
hundreds of dollars each if sold to the various fraud
rings in operation domestically.

IHOP Privacy Invasion

Massachusett's driver's licenses can still
social security numbers (ssn) on
them along with
your address and date of
birth (dob).

So, our tip for today is to always protect your right
to privacy. Just because some misinformed employee
or business wants access to your personal information
information that does not translate into a legal
requirement. Always question, especially outside
a financial transaction you are generating,
why someone
would need your driver's license
and or social security
number (ssn).

If you were or someone you knew who was a victim of this
privacy invasion and want to eliminate the social security
number from your driver's license, you contact the Mass.

Remember, it's your rights under the law to protect your
personal information.


At 7:23 AM, Blogger agent99 said...

IHOP just can't seem to get it right.

By unnecessarily exposing Mass. consumers to potential identity theft by violating their personal privacy, IHOP has committed another public relations snafu.

A few years ago, IHOP was the subject of discrimination charges for refusing to serve minorities.

So, it appears some organizations are prone to committing dumb acts like asking people for their driver's licenses just to eat.

Perhaps incidents like this from IHOP just prove some organizations evidently have management beliefs and/or practices which unfortunately are not always in the best interests of the general public.

At 6:56 AM, Anonymous AdrianB said...

Guess where I will not eat anymore?!

Besides, IHOP's food has always had way too much fat and grease to now go along with their privacy invasion.

Thanks for exposing these guys.

At 5:18 AM, Blogger agent99 said...

The bottom line to this episode, like many other similar ones, is to challenge verbal requests for your sensitive personal information.

Especially anytime a non financial services related (loan applications) transaction you have not initiated.

While there are instances a misinformed company/individual mistakenly believes they should request your social security number (ssn) from historical practices to conduct a computer lookup, you have the right to request an alternative identifier.

More omnious, though, are the countless illegal scams and fraud attempts which identity theft criminals get unsuspecting people to violate their own privacy by disclosing their social security number (ssn), driver's license number, or even credit card account numbers.

So, guard well your confidential data and use common sense as in this case of the driver's license for pancakes request at IHOP.


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