Google is running an ad when you search on Choicepoint: “ChoicePoint letter says your identity stolen? Learn your rights. www.jameshoyer.com” On clicking through, its just a form, asking someone to contact you. Renaissancemen has a good roundup, including the fact that only 5% or perpetrators are arrested, and a pointer to Kevin Drum arguing for more consumer control. (The industry will successfully argue that they can’t identify customers like that, and it would be too expensive if they did.) The Seattle Times points out that Choicepoint will be rescreening 17,000 customers.
Wired has a story by Kim Zetter:
Legal experts say that people who suffered losses as a result of the breach will find it difficult to get compensation from ChoicePoint for selling their personal data to con artists, even if the victims can prove that ChoicePoint was negligent in screening customers who purchased their data. That’s because courts have been unwilling to penalize companies when victims of identity theft are not their direct customers.
Michelle Malkin has a roundup, which includes pointers two comments from a private investigator on the value of that industry and the danger of knee-jerk reactions (with more on why PIs are good for you). I am actually very sympathetic to the problem of bad law. It’s too bad that Choicepoint has claimed they’re not covered under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. If they hadn’t taken that position, they’d find it easier to oppose new laws.
Finally, Jackson’s Junction has an interesting insider’s view, including:
I have always known that fraudulent companies were finding ways to obtain credit reports. How have I known this you may ask? Simple. One of the major bureaus issues a list of companies they have banned for improperly obtaining credit reports each month. This list is sent out to all resellers of credit reports letting us know not to do business with these companies.