Tuesday, October 13, 2009

(2) comments

He who steals my identity steals - not very much?

Good article in the Wall Street Journal today ("The Fallacy of Identity Theft") by Julia Angwin. She starts off:

"As far as I know, no one can steal my identity. Even if my bank account number, my credit card number and all my passwords are stolen, I am fairly confident that I will still be me and the thief will be a different person.

Yes, the criminal will be masquerading as me. But anyone who knows me my husband, my children, my colleagues, my doorman, my employer will not be fooled. If 'I' was actually stolen, I believe that would be called a kidnapping."

She goes on to show that the problem is really fraud, the people who have their identity "stolen" don't lose much and, in truth, the amount of fraud is dropping. Her conclusion?

"It turns out that 'identity theft' is one of the most brilliant linguistic constructs ever, with its terrifying specter of losing not just your money but your soul. Maybe it's time that we renamed it what it is: a fear campaign designed to get us to buy expensive services that we don't need."


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