Category Archives: Privacy and Security

Locational Privacy

By | August 16, 2009

The EFF has posted a very interesting and sensible article on locational privacy. The solutions to the problems are not trivial, but they do exist, at some cost. Locational privacy (also known as “location privacy”) is the ability of an individual to move in public space with the expectation that under normal circumstances their location… Read More »

Frosty Credit Reports

By | September 23, 2007

If you’ve been subject to identity theft like me (twice so far), you should strongly consider having access to your credit report frozen. This will greatly decrease the chance of someone else establishing a new line of credit using your identity. Consumers Union has a great summary of the details for all the states that… Read More »

Truth in Caller ID Act of 2007

By | July 2, 2007

Since I’ve posted several times before about spoofing the caller ID for a phone call, you might think I would be interested in the Truth in Caller ID Act of 2007 that was recently introduced in the US Senate. And you would be correct. Originally introduced in the House as H.R. Bill 251 and passed… Read More »

Mediocre Fraud Alert DTMF/Voice Apps

By | November 19, 2006

In response to the notification from Avaya that my personally identifiable information may have been compromised, I decided to try the automated phone systems used by Equifax, Experian and TransUnion for adding a fraud alert to my credit file. All three automated DTMF/voice applications were pretty bad. Equifax The app used two significantly different male… Read More »

Fraud Alert and Incorrect Experian Phone Number

By | November 19, 2006

I just received a letter from Avaya informing of the theft of an employee’s laptop that may contain my personally identifiable information (PII). The letter suggests that I contact one of Equifax, Experian or TransUnionCorp to have a fraud alert placed on my credit file. If you contact one, they will allegedly automatically contact the… Read More »

More on Caller ID

By | March 4, 2006

This week an AP originated article appeared in the Oakland Tribune on caller ID spoofing. My previous post on caller ID spoofing generated quite a few comments, including a lot of email requests for the source code or for me to provide it as a paid service. Just to cut short further requests, I have… Read More »

More on Seisint and LexisNexis

By | May 25, 2005

Recently I posted about being one of the people whose personal information was potentially exposed due to allegedly lax security at Seisint (owned by LexisNexis (0wn3d by hackers)). Today a story appeared on on the hackers who claim to have initiated the break-in. At first I was relieved to read that it was a… Read More »

Seisint Victim

By | May 5, 2005

A few weeks ago, I learned that I was one of the few hundred thousand victims of Seisint’s carelessness in monitoring the users of their public and private data record aggregation service. Seisint is owned by LexisNexis, which is owned by Reed Elsevier. At first, LexisNexis thought 32,000 individuals were affected. Now the number is… Read More »

Free Credit Reports

By | December 2, 2004

If you live in the Western United States, as of today you can get a free credit report from each of TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. You can do this once per year. Check out to see when you get your chance if you don’t live out west. Update 12/9: I corrected the above URLs.… Read More »

Caller ID Spoofing for Fun or Profit

By | September 4, 2004

Although the ability to spoof caller ID has been around for quite awhile, I wasn’t aware of any public services that offered that capability. On August 31, a company called *38 launched a service for spoofing caller ID. With stories quickly appearing on SlashDot and the New York Times (registration required), *38 picked up a… Read More »