From Lastpass. Pass it on.
Category Archives: ID Cards and Identification
One of the big problems with top-down, logical, designs for national identification systems is that they tend strongly towards a single point of failure.
Not the last story like this we’re going to see.
AS WELL AS CAUSING an outpouring of grief, vitriol and general controversy, the death of former UK prime minister Margaret Thatcher on Monday also managed to highlight the pitfalls of hashtags.
The trending hashtag #nowthatchersdead was read by many Tweeters – well, those who are totally uninformed on news and global events – as announcing the news that Cher is dead, rather than Thatcher is dead, leading to an outpouring of grief for the entertainer.
The bipartisan group of eight senators is also still debating how to improve E-Verify, the system that employers use to check the immigration status of their workers. A high-tech, biometric identification card was deemed too costly; instead, the group is considering an enhanced E-Verify system that would allow employers to use photographs to identify job applicants and would let workers provide answers to security questions to help prove their legal work status.
I’d like to think that the report Jonathan Weinberg and I wrote last year, Hard to BELIEVE: The High Cost of a Biometric Identity Card (Feb. 2012), published by the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Law & Social Policy at UC Berkeley School of Law, had something to do with this.
This may be the first piece of advice the U has sent me on ID theft that I actually agree with: Tax Season Is Here; File Early to Avoid Scams:
As faculty and staff start receiving their W-2s and other tax documents, it is time to start thinking about filing income tax returns—early. This is also the season when identity thieves go into overdrive, attempting to file fraudulent tax returns. Tax fraud is now the third-largest theft of federal funds after Medicare/Medicaid and unemployment-insurance fraud. South Florida, already the leader in Medicare fraud, is also taking the lead in tax-identity theft. Florida has the highest rate of identity theft in the country, with 178 complaints per 100,000 residents in 2011. Tax-identity theft exploded to more than 1.1 million cases in 2011 from 51,700 in 2008.
Fraudulent tax returns can come in the form of tax-identity theft, refund fraud, or return-preparer fraud. With e-filing, evidence of fraud is difficult to find. There are no signed tax forms, envelopes or fingerprints, and e-filing promises quick refunds. For criminals to e-file in your name, they need your name and Social Security number, combined with a phony W-2 (wages) or fabricated Schedule C (business income). These ID thieves steal your personal information and then use it to file a fake tax return in your name, usually tweaking the numbers to get a large refund. The refund can be posted to an anonymous “Green Dot” prepaid Visa purchased at a drugstore, Wal-Mart, etc. The taxpayer whose ID has been stolen will not find out until he or she attempts to file the real return and then is informed by the IRS that the return has already been filed and the refund sent. That is the primary reason to file as early as possible, before a potential criminal attempts to do so on your behalf. To read the complete tip, including steps to protect your tax identity, please click here.
Interestingly (at least to me) the tip comes from the U’s Office of HIPAA Privacy & Security whose web site suggests it might be run by sensible people. This differentiates it from the junky and fearmongering advice I find strewn on a table at the front of our library at the start of every school year and which is issued by the campus police department.
From Naked Capitalism, Police State Watch: NYPD to Install Checkpoints, Demand ID in Lower Manahttan on OWS Anniversary:
As it happens, I am teaching a seminar on the Regulation of Identification, and also writing about it. Timely!