Round 6: Choice Point vs. Sallie Mae

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“According to consumer affairs, ChoicePoint operates as a front for Data Mining for over 25 federal agencies.” – mrscolex. His argument against ChoicePoint continues after the jump.

Sallie Mae: “The have a convenient history of “loosing” paperwork on in school deferments so they can double collect on fees from student loans.” – Eusie.

Wikipedia entry for Sallie Mae.

Previously:

  • Round 5: Jet Blue vs. Southwest

  • Round 4: Target vs Walmart
  • Round 3: Sprint vs. Verizon
  • Round 2: H&R Block vs. US Postal Service
  • Round 1: Halliburton vs. Monsanto
  • Round 0: Competition Ladder

    ChoicePoint. Check out their website at http://www.choicepoint.com

    Looks all happy and friendly doesn’t it? Smiling kids having fun. Thats exactly the image I think of when I imagine a massive database on every citizen of the united states.

    ChoicePoint is one of the few companies that the government contracts for information on its terrorist databases among other things.

    Where to start on a company like this? We’ll start with an easy source, Google News

    ChoicePoint leaked the records of 145,000-163,000 people back in October of 2004. The citizens who had their records leak didn’t find out about it until Feb of 2005, and even then initially only the people who were residents of the state of California were notified per state law. (Everybody was eventually notified to the best of my knowledge)

    In 2002 ChoicePoint willingly gave (choicepoint claims they were duped) records of more than 1500 individuals to a Nigerian businessman in california. I quote from the atlanta journal constitution: For at least two years beginning in 2002, Oluwatosin used cellphones, fake addresses and anonymous mail-drop boxes in the Los Angeles area to masquerade as a business owner and trick ChoicePoint into selling him access to addresses, real estate records, bank data and other details of consumers that ultimately led to millions of dollars in credit card fraud.

    The funny thing is that most people don’t even know that their records are kept on this Georgia based company’s data system.

    Recently, the FTC levied a 10 million dollar fine against choicepoint, and choicepoint agreed to set up a 5 million dollar trust for victims who may have lost money as the result of ID leaks from their systems. Fortunately, if you do the math on total possible number of people who have had their data stolen, you get a whopping 30 bucks per person. Thanks choicepoint!

    At one point the TSA almost agreed to use the databases that ChoicePoint holds to do their security checks for flights, but the plan was scrapped after outrage that the government was trying to circumvent privacy laws.

    But in June of 2005, that didn’t stop the CIA from granting a contract up to 20 million dollars to ChoicePoint for batch processing of public records.

    According to consumer affairs, ChoicePoint operates as a front for Data Mining for over 25 federal agencies.

    So go take one last look at their happy website with the children dancing. Makes you sick doesn’t it?

Comments

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  1. Paul D says:

    Sounds like Choicepoint is the worstest. (At least I hope so, since I have a few school loans through Sallie Mae.)

  2. mrscolex says:

    “Her argument against ChoicePoint continues after the jump.”

    Her? How did that happen? ;P

    I feel so androgynous now.

  3. Ben Popken says:

    Oh that’s Mr Scolex. Whoops. Will untuck you momentarily.

  4. mrscolex says:

    i never realized until now that it could be interpreted as mrs. colex. how silly of me.

  5. Danilo says:

    Whoa, the whole time I’ve been mentally translating that into Mrs. Colex, too. Let me just take a brief Crying Game shower.

  6. Chris H says:

    EPIC has an archive of info related to Choicepoint’s sale of personal informaton at http://epic.org/privacy/choicepoint/

    The overall point is this: Congress passed the Privacy Act of 1974 in part to avoid the creation of a federal data clearinghouse. Because government was prohibited from creating this personal agency data, the private sector started building it. Over the years, Choicepoint has supplanted many of the other companies that provide data to the gov’t. They are little brother.