Give it up: info for protection

Monday, 3 May 2004, 2:27 PM EST

Derek V. Smith sees bad people lurking everywhere: terrorists, quack doctors, identity thieves. And yet Smith colors himself an optimist, insisting that society can protect itself from such dicey characters, using information as a shield.

In Smith's view, if we did more to examine each other's digital footprints -- addresses, employment records, credit data, lawsuits, criminal files, professional licenses, vehicle registrations -- the world would be safer.

Not surprisingly, Smith can supply much of that information -- he heads ChoicePoint, a leading electronic data warehouse regularly mined by companies and the government. ChoicePoint does 8 million background checks a year, serving more than half of the Fortune 500.

By the Associated Press at Wired.

[ Read more ]




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