Choicepoint Annual Meeting

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But today, the chairman and chief executive of Alpharetta-based ChoicePoint is likely to get a feel for his standing on a smaller stage: whether he is held in esteem by ChoicePoint shareholders.

Lauren Waits, who oversaw ChoicePoint’s charitable giving program before leaving earlier this year, describes her former boss as a visionary who also can be intense and “quite hard on other people.” He has been impatient for government to act on ideas, such as storing DNA profiles on all felons in a central database that could be used to catch repeat offenders.

But the most difficult thing for ChoicePoint’s CEO hasn’t been the criticism or a grilling before Congress, said Rod Dowling, an investment banker who has worked with ChoicePoint. What Dowling said got to Smith most in the wake of the scam was that an Atlanta publication, Creative Loafing, published his home phone number and address.

That’s just a smidgen of the kind of information ChoicePoint supplies to clients every day. But Smith worried about his family’s safety and quickly changed his phone number, said Dowling, CEO of SunTrust Robinson Humphrey.

If only we could do the same when our data gets into untrustworthy hands.

From the Atlanta Journal Constitution, “Embattled CEO must take stage.”

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