July 11, 2005 |
The Air Force called the other day. That didn't surprise me because the Marines, Navy and National Guard also have been dialing my number quite a bit lately. I am, of course, very flattered by all this attention. Yet I can't help but wonder what I did to deserve it. Maybe they saw me pumping those 5-pound dumbbells at the gym. Or perhaps my winning personality convinced them that I'm exactly what this country needs to pull its armed forces out of their current funk. One more possibility is that an act of Congress forced my public high school to disclose all of its students' names and phone numbers so that we could become fodder for the massive recruiting machine that consumes almost $4 billion of this country's defense budget.
July 4, 2005 |
In the small town in Pennsylvania where I grew up, the Fourth of July featured a parade in the morning, fireworks at night, and a patriotic speech or two in between, usually by a member of a veterans group or a town official. Only as an adult did I spend a moment or two reflecting on what the day actually meant. The town I lived in, Easton, is only about 65 miles from where our nation was born. High school history teachers drilled into us the meaning of the Fourth and the courage displayed by those who decided the nation should be free to find its own way, in its own manner, and in its own time, rather than be dictated to by a king an ocean away.
June 24, 2005 |
A wide-ranging identity-theft bill, intended to provide preventive measures and tools for victims, passed both houses of the New Jersey Legislature yesterday without opposition. It now goes to acting Gov. Richard J. Codey, who is expected to sign it. Consumer advocates who pushed for the bill are particularly excited about a provision that would give residents the ability to quickly freeze and unfreeze access to their credit reports. That would give consumers control over when their credit reports could be seen, helping to prevent the illegal opening of a line of credit, advocates said.
June 24, 2005 |
Identity theft is making Americans insecure - insecure in buying over the Internet and telephone, insecure in providing information to health-care providers, and even insecure in storing and destroying documents. The problem goes beyond the ability of individual consumers to avoid ID theft. The most savvy credit-card user, the one who follows the waiter to the cash register to witness the swiping of the card, cannot prevent the downstream breach of privacy caused by a corrupt or incompetent restaurant, bank, or credit-bureau employee.
February 25, 2005 |
A Senate committee will hold hearings on identity theft and information brokers following the revelation that a data bank with information on millions of people was accessed by criminals, the committee chairman said yesterday. Democrats, including Sens. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, Dianne Feinstein of California and Charles Schumer of New York, have been calling for a Judiciary Committee inquiry into whether more regulation of companies such as ChoicePoint Inc. that buy and sell personal data is needed.
January 19, 2005 |
Pennsylvania State University has always rigorously sought to ensure the privacy of personal information for those associated with the university. This security just got better. Last month, more than 138 million records were converted and 90,000 identification cards reissued in a project that has been under way for the last two years. It's all part of an effort to enhance the privacy of more than 100,000 students, faculty and staff, and the 200,000 others who have been associated with the university over the last 25 years.
December 4, 2004 |
A former American Red Cross data-input clerk in Philadelphia was indicted yesterday by a federal grand jury on charges of leaking the financial identities of more than 40 blood donors to a convicted robber who allegedly used the information to obtain $268,762 in cash and merchandise. Danielle Baker, 33, of Collingswood, was indicted on conspiracy and identity-theft charges in a scheme that prosecutors said involved her former boyfriend, convicted robber Harold J. McCoy 3d. U.S. Attorney Patrick L. Meehan said the scheme caused a crisis from which "the individual victims and the Red Cross are still trying to recover.
November 22, 2004 |
Betsy Masiello of Solebury found her niche - computer science - in college when she took a computer course and found herself thinking, "This isn't so bad. I'm not afraid of it. It's kind of cool. " Andrew Kim of Marlton knew he wanted to study international relations after he read about the genocide in Rwanda in the mid-1990s and felt outraged that such an atrocity could happen in his lifetime. Now Masiello and Kim will pursue their interests at University of Oxford in England next fall as two of the 32 Rhodes scholars from the United States whose selection was announced yesterday.
August 3, 2004 |
West Chester University officials said yesterday they could know by Friday how nearly 300 pages of student financial aid information came to be found in plain view in a trash bin. The data, listing hundreds of student names with their Social Security numbers, financial aid awards, and university identification numbers, were left in a bin near the football stadium in East Bradford. A passerby retrieved some of the data Thursday and brought it to The Inquirer, which recovered the rest.
August 1, 2004 |
He was just out walking the dog. But when he came to a trash bin behind West Chester University's football stadium, the dog owner said, he made a startling discovery: a computer printout listing the Social Security numbers and other personal data for hundreds of students. The East Bradford man, who asked not to be identified, retrieved some of the documents Thursday and gave them to The Inquirer, which then recovered more than 300 slightly stained spreadsheets. It was unclear on Friday whether the university violated a federal law that prohibits schools from haphazardly discarding such private information or making it available.