Another case of massive consumer data theft

Ya know, it seems like it really makes little difference what we do with our data these days. I mean after all, the companies that end up with it see to be able to do what they want with in regardless anyway. Case in point with this article from Ars. It just never seems to stop, does it?

Are you concerned about consumer databases which contain vital information such as Social Security numbers, drivers license numbers, and other identifying data? If the recent screw-up by ChoicePoint which sold data on over 145,000 to a gang of identity thieves didn’t give you cause for concern, perhaps another, more recent data theft will.

Seisint, a division of LexisNexis owner Reed Elsevier that maintains databases on consumers with information gleaned from government records and other sources, reported that hackers got into a database and made off with personal information on about 32,000 US citizens, including dates of birth, Social Security numbers, drivers license numbers, and other identifying data. Reed Elsevier says it is in the process of contacting those affected by the breach and will offer them assistance in detecting any possible identity theft resulting from their lapse.

Seisint, which was acquired by Reed Elsevier in 2004, has previously come under criticism for giving government officials the names of 120,000 people who supposedly fit terrorist profiles in the wake of the attacks of September 11, 2001. Now, it joins the growing list of companies that traffic in consumer data without taking adequate safeguards to protect it.