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Daily Archives: January 9, 2008

If you haven’t gotten it already, expect a letter from the Davidson County Election Commission about the theft of your personal information… from an unsecured laptop.

In the letter we’re told that our full names, addresses, and social security numbers are now compromised… and we have to notify any agency of this loss of your personal identification “as you deem necessary”. The letter also gives the address for a website for more information: http://www.nashville.gove/vote .

Now, this is very concerning for a number of reasons. Twice before in my husband’s life he has had his information compromised, once to the point he couldn’t even get a checking account at a bank. The other time, his SSN was being used by an illegal alien. It takes years to clean up that kind of mess, often the full seven years before it drops off your credit report, which is what happened in the last instance.

Identity theft has become a huge problem and here we have well over 300,000 names and information up for sale. Somebody’s going to make a pretty penny off this, for sure, while we who have been victimized by it will have to pay to fix the ensuing mess.

This morning, TheTennessean has more about the incident.

A private security firm didn’t cover a vulnerable Nashville government building on Saturdays for months – but did send the city a bill for its services, according to a government audit.

Laptop computers containing Metro voters’ Social Security numbers were stolen from the facility before Christmas, potentially exposing 337,000 people to identity theft. Although it’s not clear whether the break-in occurred on a Saturday, city officials said the alleged failings of Wackenhut Corp. and a subcontractor are still outrageous if they’re accurate.

“We need to hold these companies responsible, and if what’s being alleged is true, they should be dismissed,” Michael Craddock, chairman of the Metro Council’s Public Safety Committee, said Tuesday.

Marc Shapiro, a Wackenhut spokesman based in Florida, declined to comment. […]

More questions raised

Nashville attorney David Raybin, who specializes in identity theft cases, said the keycard audit gives Metro more ammunition in pursuing Wackenhut for money to reimburse the city.

But the audit also raises questions about why Metro officials weren’t comparing the keycard data with billing records all along, Raybin said. If they had done so, the city would have realized much sooner that the building was unprotected.

“It’s like reconciling your checkbook at the end of every month,” he said.

Billing for services that weren’t rendered would constitute fraud if Wackenhut or Specialized Security officials intentionally billed Metro for services they knew weren’t performed.

A pattern of similar actions could help Metro build a case for punitive damages, Raybin said.

Wackenhut is under investigation in Florida over accusations the company overbilled the Miami-Dade County government. Last month, the FBI and city government officials raided its corporate offices in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

A preliminary audit showed Wackenhut had improperly billed the Miami-Dade government for up to $12.1 million, news media reported.

Sounds to me like nobody is doing their job. Read the full article and check out the website. Davidson County is in for a rough time.

January 2008


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