Thursday, April 07, 2011

Huge Identity Theft and You

So, this careless outfit, Epsilon, let a huge amount of identity data get stolen.  It ignored warnings months ago. It's already appearing in identity theft, says the Better Business Bureau. Here's a partial list of corporations who gave your data to such a careless outfit, instead of protecting it by doing the job themselves:

Abe Books, Air Miles CA, Ameriprise Financial
Barclays Bank of Delaware, Beachbody, Bebe Stores Inc., Benefit Cosmetics, BestBuy, Brookstone
Capital One, Charter Communications, Chase, Citibank, City Market, The College Board,
Dell Australia, Dillons, Disney Vacations
Eurosport/, Eddie Bauer
Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fry’s
Hilton Honors, The Home Shopping Network
Jay C, JP Morgan Chase
King Soopers, Kroger
LL Bean
Marks & Spencer (UK), Marriott Rewards, McKinsey Quarterly, Moneygram
New York & Co.
Ralphs, Red Roof Inns Inc., Ritz Carlton, Robert Half
Smith Brands
Target, TD Ameritrade, TIAA-CREF, TiVO
US Bank
Verizon, Viking River Cruises
Walgreens, World Financial Network National Bank

So, have you ever given your data to any of those outfits? You might want to consider sending an e-mail, something like this:
1. I understand you gave my personal information to Epsilon, who lost it.
2. The Federal Trade Commission says: “The law makes clear that even if you hire another company to handle your email marketing, you can’t contract away your legal responsibility to comply with the law. Both the company whose product is promoted in the message and the company that actually sends the message may be held legally responsible.”
3. The CAN-Spam Act of 2003 says such transgressions can cost $16,000 per violation.
4. Therefore, I want to know what privacy protection [INSERT NAME OF COMPANY HERE] will offer to alleviate the risk you exposed me to.
Who knows, might help you get in on the inevitable class action lawsuit, or at least get you identity theft monitoring.

Might also be time to change your e-mail address, which you can get free from (they will provide you free forwarding ((POP and IMAP both)) to your real e-mail address with your ISP, so you can keep your real e-mail address private while providing a consistent e-mail address for everyone else to use).

And, take the advice of State Attorney General John Kroger (no relation) do NOT answer ANY e-mail from any outfit asking for more info which they ought to already have.

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