Magazine article says parents destroying infant privacy at birth
Noted Internet security expert Raj Goel said well-meaning parents are ruining any privacy their children may have, starting at birth. He reports on this in the August-September edition of InfoSecurity Magazine in the article “Life Of A Child (2014).”
Mr. Goel is not referring to children at risk of dropping out of school, rather, children at risk of having someone steal their identity and create lifelong problems with that. He points out a set of very basic information is all that’s needed to impersonate someone online or over the phone:
- Mother’s maiden name
- Date of birth
- City of birth
“The problem is this is what people consider to be basic information when making a birth announcement. People look at this as sharing information,” he said. “New parents are justifiably proud about a new baby and they want to share the good news. Unfortunately, these well-meaning and well-intended parents are setting their children up for a lifetime of stolen identity problems.”
Mr. Goel said this is not limited to online and social media. He said parents often turn in birth announcements to the original social media, newspapers. Identity thieves are known to scour newspapers for birth announcements and obituaries. They harvest this information and set up fraudulent accounts based on the name and information gathered.
“We are happy to join you in celebrating the birth of a child, but please, be careful about what information you choose to share,” Mr. Goel said.
Schools are also a major risk. He writes of a technology called InBloom. In short, it collate student data and then makes that data available for purchase by private companies.
“The technology, which as of last year was adopted in nine states, creates a centralized database where student records, from attendance to disciplinary to special needs, are stored,” he wrote. “Civil rights groups took immediate legal action to try and prevent the practice of disseminating student data—a practice that also had been taking place in Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, North Carolina, Massachusetts, and Louisiana by the time the New York uproar began.”
Raj Goel is a well-known IT Expert, Author, Keynote Conference Speaker, TV Guru,HIPAA, PCI, SEC Compliance expert and Cyber Civil Rights Advocate. He regularly gives presentations around the world at the leading global conferences. For more information about Mr. Goel and his work, please visit www.RajGoel.com