Ask Dave Taylor: Tech and Business


Assessing the Risk of Workplace Identity Theft

Recent headlines have shed light on a growing problem, individuals who retrieve and sell personal information that a business has collected for legitimate reasons.

Consider the following:

• A former help desk worker used his position at a credit checking company to obtain the personal information of thousands of individuals. The worker allegedly conspired with an accomplice to sell the victims’ credit reports to an identity theft ring. The ring supplied the pair with the name and social security numbers of the individuals whose identities they wanted to steal. The worker, who left the company in 2000, allegedly used codes he had obtained as an employee to access credit reports. He was also accused of providing access codes and passwords to at least one cohort who then used the codes to obtain consumer credit reports.

• A ring of identity thieves targeted a group of high-ranking executives. A temporary employee working at the company’s world headquarters obtained personal information about company executives and then sold it. The information, including social security numbers and birthrates was used to obtain credit cards. The police estimated about $100,000 was...