Monday, May 16, 2005

Identity theft is okay...if done by the state

Ohio Agents Use Woman's Identity in Strip-Bar Sting: Internal Affairs at

This is absolutely unbelievable! Imagine if the state was to damage your reputation or financial status (e.g. FICO score or credit worthiness) due to the unauthorized use of your identity!

Nasal said the ploy was legal because a change in Ohio's law the previous year aimed at curbing identity theft. The law allows police to use a person's identity within the context of an investigation, he said.

The problem of identity theft is the persistent lack of decent capabilities in the financial industry to reliably authenticate claimed identities. I don't have a perfect solution, but continuing with the status quo of allowing people to just claim an identity (not prove it) and then trying to keep plugging fingers in the dike to keep this information "private" (_identifying_ information that is allowed to be used as _authenticating_ information) rather than implement a real authentication solution is solving the wrong problems. And they wonder why identity theft is increasing in double-digit percentages every year...

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