Lawmakers Target Consumer-Data Privacy

Here is an interesting article in eWeek. To me it is one more report on how “bad process” leads to “social reaction” with deep technological implications for the topology of identity systems:

Lawmakers’ renewed urgency is being fueled largely by the recent security blunder at data warehouse vendor ChoicePoint Inc.

The incident, which illustrates the kind of damage many privacy-law advocates have long feared, is spurring legislators to take a new look at data privacy initiatives that died in the last session of Congress.

ChoicePoint, based in Atlanta, disclosed earlier this month that scammers accessed information on more than 145,000 consumers, including Social Security numbers and credit histories.

In a separate incident, thieves stole some of Science Applications International Corp.’s computers, which contained lists of SAIC shareholders, including their addresses, phone numbers, stock holdings and Social Security numbers.

Following requests from minority leadership last week, Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he would hold a hearing on the ChoicePoint incident.

Two of the Senate's leading champions of privacy rights, Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., called for an investigation.

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Kim Cameron

Work on identity.