Sponsor Robert Siciliano as he runs the Boston Marathon for Miles for Miracles, Children's Hospital Boston
ROBERT SICILIANO is fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering Americans so they can be protected from violence and crime in the physical and virtual worlds.

FREE EBOOK

Check here if you're human

Sponsors

Judge Says Its OK to Post Social Security Numbers Online

0
Pin It

B.J. Ostergren is a proud Virginian. She’s known as “The Virginia Watchdog,” but I like to call her “The Pit Bull of Personal Privacy.” She is relentless in her efforts to protect citizens’ privacy, and her primary concern is the posting of personal information online. To make this point, she finds politicians’ personal information, usually Social Security numbers, on their own states’ websites, and republishes that information online.

Publicly appointed government employees known as Clerks of Courts, County Clerks, or Registrars are responsible for handling and managing public records, including birth, death, marriage, court, property, and business filings for municipalities. Every state, city, and town has its own set of regulations determining how data is collected and made available to the public.

The Privacy Act of 1974 is a federal law that establishes a code of fair information practices governing the collection, maintenance, use, and dissemination of personally identifiable information maintained in systems of records by federal agencies.

Over the years, many have interpreted this law to allow public information, including Social Security numbers, to be posted online. I’ve seen Social Security numbers for Jeb Bush, Colin Powell, former CIA Director Porter Goss, Troy Aiken, and Donald Trump, all published on the Internet.

Ostergren so embarrassed the Virginia lawmakers that they passed a law known by some as the “anti-B.J. law,” prohibiting her from doing what public officials have been doing for years.

United States District Court Judge Robert E. Payne signed an order overturning the anti-B.J. law, ruling that privacy advocate B.J. Ostergren may post public records that contain Social Security Numbers on her website, despite a 2008 Virginia law prohibiting the dissemination of such information.

While two wrongs generally don’t make a right, one has to see the irony in this case. And if Ostergren’s actions create awareness that ultimately leads to all Social Security numbers being redacted, then this wrong is right.

With more than 11 million victims just last year identity theft is a serious concern.  McAfee Identity Protection offers proactive identity surveillance, lost wallet protection, and alerts when suspicious activity is detected on your financial accounts. Educate and protect yourself – please visit http://www.counteridentitytheft.com.

Robert Siciliano is a McAfee consultant and identity theft expert. See him explain how to protect yourself from identity theft on CounterIdentityTheft.com. (Disclosures)

 

About the Author
ROBERT SICILIANO, CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com is fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering Americans so they can be protected from violence and crime in the physical and virtual worlds. His "tell it like it is" style is sought after by major media outlets, executives in the C-Suite of leading corporations, meeting planners, and community leaders to get the straight talk they need to stay safe in a world in which physical and virtual crime is commonplace. Siciliano is accessible, real, professional, and ready to weigh in and comment at a moment's notice on breaking news.

Similar Posts

  • Judge Rules; It is legal to post Social Security numbers on Web sites
    Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Expert B.J. Ostergren is a proud Virginian. She’s known as “The Virginia Watchdog,” but I like to call her “The Pit Bull of Personal Privacy.” She is relentless in her efforts to protect citizens’ privacy, and she is primarily concerned with the posting of personal information online. So in order to make
  • Government Officials Contributing to Identity Theft
    Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Expert Government officials are posting our Social Security numbers on the web, but corporations are required to keep them under lock and key. Congressman Robert Wexler was recently targeted by a Ghanaian extortionist who supposedly obtained Wexler’s Social Security number, as well as his wife’s, from a public record posted at The Virginia Watchdog.
  • Leaked Social Security Numbers Put “Personal Security and Safety at Risk”
    Allen West, a Republican Congressional candidate, is speaking out after a mailing from the Florida Democratic Party releases his Social Security number and his wife’s federal employee number. “It’s an attack against me and I think it shows the weakness of the character of Ron Klein and definitely the Florida Democratic party, to put a person’s
  • If You Want To Be an Identity Thief, Go To Jail
    Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Expert Willie Sutton a famous thief when asked why he robbed banks he was quoted saying, “Because that’s where the money is.” Where’s the money today? Identity Theft! What’s a great way to commit identity theft? Go to jail.  Prisons in eight states let convicts work in jobs that give them access
  • Man Arrested For Stealing 15,000 Social Security Numbers
    Now more than ever, criminal hackers are hacking into databases that contain Social Security numbers and using the numbers to open new financial accounts. Criminals use stolen Social Security numbers to obtain mobile phones, credit cards, and even bank loans. Some victims whose Social Security numbers fell into the hands of identity thieves have even

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Xtreme School

Featured in

Anderson Cooper John Stossel Robert Siciliano Featured in
Browse by Month

Browse by Category