This post was authored by Professor Daniel J. Solove, who through TeachPrivacy develops computer-based privacy training, data security training, HIPAA training, and many other forms of awareness training on privacy and security topics. Professor Solove also posts at his blog at LinkedIn. His blog has more than 1 million followers.
Remember well over a year ago, when last February ChoicePoint announced it had a major data security breach? Since then hundreds of breaches have been announced — over 200 instances involving data on 88 million people. Several bills were proposed in Congress; many Senators and Representatives quickly emphasized the importance of privacy and data security. And after all this time, what has Congress produced? Nothing.
There are new details to report about the famous Hamilton County public records website. Several years ago, the clerk of courts of Hamilton County, Ohio placed a wide range of public records online. Many of the records had extensive personal information about individuals, including Social Security Numbers and home addresses. The Hamilton County website garnered a lot of attention. The NY Times ran a story about it in 2002 called Dirty Laundry, Online for All to See (Sept. 5, 2002) at G1, by Jennifer 8. Lee:
A while back, I wrote about the Million Dollar Homepage, where Alex Tew, a student, created the idea of selling a million pixels on a website to advertisers for $1 each. His plan was successful, and he recently reached his goal of raising a million dollars in just a few months.
But the story attracted some unsavory criminals bent on ruining Tew’s enterprise. From the BBC: