Saturday, January 05, 2008

Some suggestions

I'm still absolutely astonished at how badly the Metro Election Commission, the Metro IT folks and the other Keystone Cop members of our government have handled our very sensitive information. I had another meeting to attend on Thursday so I couldn't watch all the Public Safety Commission hearing but what I heard and what I've read so far is just absolutely astonishing. Time after time I kept thinking "What?!", "Why not?!", "Who?!" "Well, it's gonna cost us now!" This cannot stop with one security guard losing his job for dereliction of duty. The dereliction goes much further. At some point some folks way up this chain need to be fired and lose their pension and other benefits.

And since I understand that suing Metro for damages may result in higher taxes (like I need that) I will decline to be part of this class action lawsuit as long as Metro is a defendant. I don't mind suing the pants off Wackenhut or it's sub-contractor, but Metro money is my money. It doesn't make sense to take it from me and give it to me.

In the meantime I'm concerned about the thousands of people who are behind the curve on protecting their identities. Because it's tax season I'm going to suggest that tax preparers take up a huge public service project and:

  1. alert every one of their customers about this breach of security,
  2. provide a packet of information about what has occurred, and what minimal steps they should take. They could even include a chart and calendar to remind folks to do it all and keep doing it all over the years.
  3. help them make the initial fraud alert phone call, and
  4. help them request that first free copy of a credit report from at least one of the three credit reporting agencies for review.
Maybe this is something the local CPA's can spearhead along with the Y's or senior centers. But it has to be done.

Also, as we speak some low life cretins are preparing to pick the pockets of the uninformed and offer them some sort of credit monitoring, repair or protection which will result in even more damage to the credit of those unaware much of this is available free or for a very small fee. Yes, there are legitimate business that do this BUT I predict the rats are coming.

I'm going to further suggest that the Election Commission place large posters in front of stacks of information packets at their main office, at every polling place and include a notice on every piece of mail to a voter for quite some time. I'd also like to see a phone line next to the display so that voters can make those fraud alert calls right then and there. Poll workers should be trained in assisting voters in making that initial fraud alert call. We are reminded when switching back and forth from daylight savings to change our smoke detector batteries, so entering a polling place or receiving our sample ballots should be the reminder that if we haven't done it in the last 90 days it's time to renew our fraud alert.

Hopefully, this is just the beginning of a wholesale check on the procedures at every entity that holds our information. From the schools all the way to our dentists, this information should be encrypted, password protected (sans the Post-It thank you) and locked away. It shouldn't take just a rock and the back-handed help of Keystone Cop Security to get this information.

No comments: