PRIVACY + SECURITY BLOG

News, Developments, and Insights

high-tech technology background with eyes on computer display

When Is a Person Harmed by a Privacy Violation? Thoughts on Spokeo v. Robins

privacy

When is a person harmed by a privacy violation? The U.S. Supreme Court just handed down a decision in an important case, Spokeo Inc. v. Robins.   Plaintiff Thomas Robins sued Spokeo under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) because Spokeo had inaccurate information about him in its profile.  Spokeo’s profiles are used by potential employers […]

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FreeCreditReport.com Spoof Song

Free Credit Report

I’ve blogged in the past about FreeCreditReport.com and the fact that I think it ought to be shut down. This is one of the rather obnoxious attempts by the credit reporting agencies to exploit people’s fears of identity theft as a tool to generate money. FreeCreditReport.com is not free. You can get your free credit […]

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The Free Credit Reports That Aren’t Free

Free Credit Report

You’ve probably seen the commericals, which run incessantly on CNN and other cable channels. A happy young man says: “I’m thinking of a number . . . ” That number is a credit score, which you can obtain at a website called FreeCreditReport.com. You probably have heard that under a new federal law, credit reporting agencies […]

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The Pentagon, the CIA, and National Security Letters

Government Surveillance

From the New York Times: The Pentagon and to a lesser extent the CIA have been using a little-known power to look at the banking and credit records of hundreds of Americans and others suspected of terrorism or espionage within the United States, officials said Saturday. The C.I.A. has also been issuing what are known as […]

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Free Credit Reports: My Exciting Adventure

Credit Report

Under the federal Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003, the credit reporting agencies must provide a yearly free credit report to individuals who request it. This was one of the benefits given to consumers by the law in return for extending the federal preemption of certain state law regulations. […]

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Hurricane Katrina and Credit Scores

Hurricane Katrina

Bob Sullivan at MSNBC writes: A second storm surge may soon start slamming into Gulf coast residents hit by hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Mounting unpaid bills will lead to a surge of black marks on victims’ credit reports, say consumer advocates, sinking their credit scores. And now, they say, efforts to convince the nation’s credit bureaus to […]

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How Credit Reporting Agencies Are Scamming the Free Credit Report Requirement

Free Credit Report

This year, pursuant to the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) of 2003, credit reporting agencies must provide people with one free credit report per year.   This is gradually being phased in this year.  People can obtain their reports from this website: https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp. Earlier this year in his blog, law professor Eric Goldman discussed the difficulties and inconveniences he […]

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