Monday, April 24, 2006

What's Available On Line

CNS News reports:
While the FBI and the Federal Trade Commission promote tips to guard against common forms of identity theft, such as reviewing your credit report at least annually and not giving out personal information over the phone, none of those resources address how to protect against the misuse of information that is readily available from public records posted on state and local government websites.

Perhaps even worse, the millions of public records being uploaded to the World Wide Web include confidential, personal information about current and former elected and appointed officials at the highest levels of the U.S. government - information that some say could be useful to terrorists, including:

* Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director Porter Goss' Social Security number and signature and those of his wife, Mary;

* Former Secretary of State Colin Powell's Social Security number and signature and those of his wife, Alma, and the couple's home address;

* Arizona Republican Sen. and former GOP presidential candidate John McCain's Washington D.C. area condominium address, garage parking space assignment and his Arizona address; and

* Former Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for Border and Transportation Security C. Stewart Verdery, Jr.'s Social Security number and signature.
Can we really have privacy if we have a Social Security system?