ID theft victims could lose twice
The recent security breach at data aggregator ChoicePoint that exposed at least 145,000 consumers to identity theft and renewed a call for regulation of the data industry will likely leave victims of the breach twice bitten -- first from the identity theft itself and second from thwarted attempts to recover damages for their losses if they decide to seek recourse.
Legal experts say that people who suffered losses as a result of the breach will find it difficult to get compensation from ChoicePoint for selling their personal data to con artists, even if the victims can prove that ChoicePoint was negligent in screening customers who purchased their data. That's because courts have been unwilling to penalize companies when victims of identity theft are not their direct customers.
By Kim Zetter at Wired.
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- Review: Identity Theft (26 August 2003)