Thursday, July 13, 2006

Today's Rant: Identity Theft

I know I'm not really one to talk when it comes to protecting my own privacy-- considering that I blog under my own name. However, if there were an organization that I would expect to be considerate of my confidentiality concerns it would be the government.

Congress passes laws that regulate how and when confidential information is to be shared, and secured by businesses and private organizations (examples of this include HIPAA, FCRA, etc. ). The government, on the other hand, has not done enough to insure that it regulates itself.

The other day, a letter arrived in the mail in a, clearly marked, identifiable envelope. In the envelope window were the first, middle, and last name of my baby as well as the seal of the Social Security Administration, and every indicator that this was a Social Security Card. My wife was quick to point out that when a new credit card arrives, that the contents of the envelope are obscured, and there is now way of knowing-beyond opening the letter, that you have recieved a Credit Card. Why the government does not take the minimal step of obscuring the purpose of the letter is beyond understanding. Should it be any surprise that ID theft is considered the "fastest growing crime in the nation"?

Why am I registering my concern on a blog soley concerned with County issues? Doesn't this seem to be a national issue?

Take a look at the low-tech methods used in ID Theft and ask yourself if the perpetrator must be close in proximity to the victim to commit this crime.

ID Theft is, primarily, a local issue. We should put pressure on our local leadership to drive change.