Lexis Nexis has been compromised and has hemorrhaged the personal information of tens of thousands of individuals whose data was stored with Lexis Nexis. Identity theft is a real possibilty for these people. Many will remember that this exact same thing happened to ChoicePoint just last month. Lexis Nexis, like ChoicePoint before it, is a storehouse for the very personal information of millions of individuals, including social security and drivers license numbers, the favourites of identity thieves.
In this age of masses of personal information being stored on computers connected to the Internet, identity theft is a real issue, and it’s not surprising that this sort of things happens. But here is the thing – in both the Lexis Nexis and the ChoicePoint case, there was no hacking – no break-in. In both the Lexis Nexis and the ChoicePoint case the identity thieves just waltzed in the digital front door, pretending to be either something they were not (ChoicePoint) or someone they were not (Lexis Nexis), and got the goods. With ChoicePoint the identity thieves pretended to be business men opening new accounts with ChoicePoint, and ordered the data. With Lexis Nexis, the identity thieves started out with an identity theft, pretending to be already-existing customers of Lexis Nexis.
This begs the question: if we can’t trust these companies, who are entrusted with some of our most personal information – the very information which makes us vulnerable to identity theft – to protect us from the good old-fashioned scams, how can we possibly trust them to protect us from high-tech cutting-edge cyber-savvy identity thieves?
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