MSNBC has more on the ChoicePoint story. I’m using their link because they’ve really been in the lead with this one.
This gives me an opportunity to add what I think is the irony in this whole sordid mess. ChoicePoint didn’t get hacked¹, they sold this information within the normal course of their business. They were scammed into believing they were dealing with legitimate businesses by people who used techniques that ChoicePoint’s data is often sold to prevent! Oops.
Though this information, the most personal of data on all of us, was sold to criminals, I’m just as upset that it can be aggregated and sold at all.
Expect a lot of smoke but little fire as congressional hearings get underway. As a matter of political realism, strict reform in the data mining and sales business would seem to be an unlikely outcome right now.
¹ – Speaking of not getting hacked, there’s a rumor at Motley Fool that Paris Hilton’s Blackberry wasn’t hacked… someone just guessed the password.
Matt Drudge, reporting on a new theft of Fred Durst’s home video, writes:
“The previous information was obtained using social engineering tactics.”
Law enforcement officials believe the video comes from the same source who presented Paris’s Sidekick diary.
“Social engineering” means someone got in through guile, not technology.