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Univ. of San Diego School of Law

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Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Government Websites Aid Identity Thieves

From washingtonpost.com: In an era when government officials from President Bush to local sheriffs warn of the growing dangers of identity theft, the full Social Security numbers of untold numbers of Americans can be found in file rooms and on Web sites run by, well, governments.

"This is very dangerous," Gansler said after learning that his number had been posted on a Maryland government records site. "You know, a Social Security number is really the fingerprint to somebody's identification."

The Federal Trade Commission has estimated that 8.3 million Americans were victims of identity theft in 2005, the most recent data available. But the crown jewel in identity theft -- the Social Security number -- can be mined easily in the government's own records, creating a measure of social insecurity for millions, identity experts say. Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/crimprof_blog/2008/01/government-webs.html

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