The problem of identity theft should be well known by now. There is a long history of security breaches by government agencies, educational institutions and businesses. The cost of a data breach can be millions of dollars, in providing credit monitoring and protection for those who have had their personal information exposed. In addition, there are lawsuits seeking punitive damages.
There is no question that the security of data bases is paramount. Yet, in spite of the history of data breach disasters and warnings from policing agencies, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in Colorado endangers millions of citizens with its security procedures:
“…The DMV regularly sends large batches of personal information over the Internet without encryption and has failed to properly limit access to its database, according to a recent audit. At one point, 33 former DMV employees could access names, addresses, dates of birth and Social Security numbers — some workers more than a year after their departure, auditors found.”
Apparently there are insufficient funds to protect the people of Colorado from identity theft.
Here is a solution. Be candid with the people. Tell them that security is inadequate and that their data are at risk. If the security issues need one and a half million dollars to resolve, then ask the nearly three and a half million Coloradans to help.
By rough calculations, it would cost each of these people of Colorado to pay an extra fifty cents ($0.50) to have adequate security protection. Fifty cents would secure their data at the DMV. It would take hours of work and years of concern if their personal data were exposed.
All it would take is fifty cents… and some candor.