Internet - Disclosure of Personal Information On-line and Identity Theft

1753 Words 8 Pages
Disclosure of Personal Information On-line and the Occurrence of Identity Theft

Introduction

Identification is a critical and common process which we encounter on a regular basis as we carry out our daily activities. Companies, government agencies and institutions routinely ask individuals for personal information in order to help identify a specific individual from another. In the past, people have relied upon face-to-face exchange of information and identity verification but with the recent explosion of the Internet this system has become relatively obsolete. Personal information that had previously been stored in file cabinets in secure locations is now easily collected and stored on databases. Does this fast and
…show more content…
Access, is, in fact, granted to anyone who knows this key identifying information.

What is Identity Theft?

Identity theft occurs when someone gains access to a person’s basic information, including name, address, and credit card or social insurance number, and uses that information to open bank accounts, order merchandise, borrow money or take over one’s personal identity.2 For example, Adam S. Marlin of CNN interviewed a family physician that had recently been a victim of identity theft. Ignacio Ramirez of San Diego, California, received a telephone call last February from a Boston medical-equipment supplier demanding $85,000 for purchased medical supplies. Ramirez, himself, did not make these purchases. Weeks later he was to learn that he had, in fact, been a victim of identity theft. A woman had obtained Ramirez’s personal information from the Internet. She was able to obtain crucial identification information which included Ramirez’s medical license identification and social security number which were then used in order to purchase medical supplies on his credit.3 This situation, unfortunately, is not uncommon. Criminals use a variety of methods to access personal information such as stealing wallets, stealing mail, shoulder surfing at an ATM and searching dumpsters but the Internet seems to be increasingly the
Open Document