DMV Records divulged to identity thieves!
Georgia data broker Choicepoint confessed to divulging the personal records of 162,000 people to Los Angeles identity thieves. The company claimed it too was a victim, although their sloppy procedures were responsible. A Nigerian later plead guilty in the case, after he found it ridiculously easy to steal the information. Choicepoint claimed they requested the data for the US Dept of Homeland Security.
Choicepoint is already a good example of the kind of slipshot handling of private data by information brokers. This isn’t the first time the company has been in trouble. In 2000, Pennsylvania quit giving them access to driving records and fined them close to $1.2 million, after the company sold some records to unauthorized buyers. Choicepoint blamed one of their customers for violating the rules. PA had no choice but to renew their contract the following year under tighter restrictions, because the insurance industry depends so heavily on the data. In Florida, Choicepoint was accused of selling DMV records to telemarkers and other unauthorized buyers, in violation of the Federal Drivers Privacy Protection Act. This law is intended to protect people from stalkers and burglars who would want to lookup addresses by license plate number.