Where ends the responsibility of Wikipedia? (personal information of people)

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Where ends the responsibility of Wikipedia? (personal information of people)

Walter Vermeir-2
I have seen a request form a person who has a entry on the English
language Wikipedia to remove his date of birth because he fears identity
theft. He is a USA-citizens.

At first glance that seems to me a very strange reason to request to
remove that information. How can you steal someones identity??

>From the day of my bright until the day that I day that I die all my
movements are tracked in the national population register of Belgium. I
have a electronic identity card, a electronic national medical insurance
card. Most databaseses of the government functions are interconnected to
exchange information about the citizens. There is not much the
government does not know. (*) So how the hell can you steal some ones
identify?

But I understand that things are very, very different in the USA
regarding that. That there no way to verify someone identify. That you
can get a visa-card whit a drivers licence ID and a drivers licence with
the Visa-card as identification. And that this is also the reason that
Americans are not enthusiastic to give you there bank account number
because there is no good protection against abuse.

So when you look at it that way I would be scared also for identify
theft if I where living in the USA.

Would it not be reasonable to consider the local circumstances when
putting information in the articles?

Greetings,
Walter

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Re: Where ends the responsibility of Wikipedia? (personal information of people)

Sam Korn
On 1/29/06, Walter Vermeir <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I have seen a request form a person who has a entry on the English
> language Wikipedia to remove his date of birth because he fears identity
> theft. He is a USA-citizens.

If there is evidence to confirm it, then Wikipedia is not going to add
to his problems.  If there is no evidence, it should be removed
anyway.  I don't see why this is any different to any other request of
the remove-my-personal-information-because-I-say-so type.

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Re: Where ends the responsibility of Wikipedia? (personal information of people)

Andrew Gray
In reply to this post by Walter Vermeir-2
On 29/01/06, Walter Vermeir <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I have seen a request form a person who has a entry on the English
> language Wikipedia to remove his date of birth because he fears identity
> theft. He is a USA-citizens.
>
> At first glance that seems to me a very strange reason to request to
> remove that information. How can you steal someones identity??

Basically, I take all the personal information I can gather about one
"Vermeir, W.", and use it to... well, impersonate you. I take out
loans in your name, or run up debts against you, or use your identity
instead of mine in order to do various nefarious acts. More "unlawful
borrowing" than "stealing", since the person doesn't lose their
identity per se, but it's a catchy phrase.

And every little bit of data helps - the more questions about "my"
identity I can answer, the more it seems to someone on the other end
of a phoneline that, yes, I do own that bank account or credit card or
small business. It's not common - certainly not as common as it's
sometimes implied - but it is on the rise, it does happen, and I can
understand someone being very burned over it.

(Incidentally, if this is the case I think it is, I'd have no problems
with what he's requesting - just say "born 1978" or whatever. But
other sites, which we link to, have the full date...)

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Re: Where ends the responsibility of Wikipedia? (personal information of people)

Fred Bauder
In reply to this post by Walter Vermeir-2
It is not that your identity so far as the state or federal  
government is stolen. Identity theft refers to someone gaining  
sufficient access to your personal information that it is possible to  
access your credit card accounts and bank accounts or create new  
ones. What they are stealing is your credit rating. They can then run  
up a big bill and leave you with it; the banks and credit companies  
may forgive the debt, but straightening your credit rating will be  
difficult and time consuming, or expensive (if you hire it done).

I suspect the same thing  could happen to a Belgium citizen.

Could a person armed with your identity card open up a line of credit  
without you knowing it.? Could they get a "lost" identity card issued  
in your name to them?

Fred

On Jan 29, 2006, at 1:55 AM, Walter Vermeir wrote:

> I have seen a request form a person who has a entry on the English
> language Wikipedia to remove his date of birth because he fears  
> identity
> theft. He is a USA-citizens.
>
> At first glance that seems to me a very strange reason to request to
> remove that information. How can you steal someones identity??
>
>
>> From the day of my bright until the day that I day that I die all my
>>
> movements are tracked in the national population register of  
> Belgium. I
> have a electronic identity card, a electronic national medical  
> insurance
> card. Most databaseses of the government functions are  
> interconnected to
> exchange information about the citizens. There is not much the
> government does not know. (*) So how the hell can you steal some ones
> identify?
>
> But I understand that things are very, very different in the USA
> regarding that. That there no way to verify someone identify. That you
> can get a visa-card whit a drivers licence ID and a drivers licence  
> with
> the Visa-card as identification. And that this is also the reason that
> Americans are not enthusiastic to give you there bank account number
> because there is no good protection against abuse.
>
> So when you look at it that way I would be scared also for identify
> theft if I where living in the USA.
>
> Would it not be reasonable to consider the local circumstances when
> putting information in the articles?
>
> Greetings,
> Walter
>
> --
> Contact: walter AT wikizine DOT org
> Wikizine.org - news for and about the Wikimedia community
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikipedia-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://mail.wikipedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikipedia-l
>

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Re: Where ends the responsibility of Wikipedia? (personal information of people)

Anthony DiPierro
On 1/29/06, Fred Bauder <[hidden email]> wrote:
> It is not that your identity so far as the state or federal
> government is stolen. Identity theft refers to someone gaining
> sufficient access to your personal information that it is possible to
> access your credit card accounts and bank accounts or create new
> ones. What they are stealing is your credit rating. They can then run
> up a big bill and leave you with it; the banks and credit companies
> may forgive the debt, but straightening your credit rating will be
> difficult and time consuming, or expensive (if you hire it done).
>

Can someone really "run up a big bill and leave you with it"?  I
thought your authorization was needed in order to enter into a loan.

IOW, I thought that while the credit reporting agencies might report
the outstanding loan, no court would actually attempt to enforce such
a loan.

Straightening out your credit rating can occassionally be difficult,
but the vast majority of the time it's actually quite straightforward.
 Actually getting a bank to "forgive" a debt on the other hand...

Anthony
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Re: Where ends the responsibility of Wikipedia? (personal information of people)

Gregory Maxwell
On 1/29/06, Anthony DiPierro <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Can someone really "run up a big bill and leave you with it"?  I
> thought your authorization was needed in order to enter into a loan.

But they got 'your' authorization.

> IOW, I thought that while the credit reporting agencies might report
> the outstanding loan, no court would actually attempt to enforce such
> a loan.
>
> Straightening out your credit rating can occassionally be difficult,
> but the vast majority of the time it's actually quite straightforward.
>  Actually getting a bank to "forgive" a debt on the other hand...

The challenge can be convincing them it wasn't you... once you've done
that it's just a matter of getting people to apply some common sense.
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Re: Where ends the responsibility of Wikipedia? (personal information of people)

Anthony DiPierro
On 1/29/06, Gregory Maxwell <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On 1/29/06, Anthony DiPierro <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > Can someone really "run up a big bill and leave you with it"?  I
> > thought your authorization was needed in order to enter into a loan.
>
> But they got 'your' authorization.
>
They got the authorization of someone pretending to be you.  If that's
what you mean by "your", then yeah.  Granted, it might be hard to get
it off your credit report, as that might ultimately require
*initiating* a lawsuit, but Fred seemed to imply that the "victim"
(that is, the person whose identity was being used) was actually
responsible for the loan just because someone used their personal
information without their authorization!

> > IOW, I thought that while the credit reporting agencies might report
> > the outstanding loan, no court would actually attempt to enforce such
> > a loan.
> >
> > Straightening out your credit rating can occassionally be difficult,
> > but the vast majority of the time it's actually quite straightforward.
> >  Actually getting a bank to "forgive" a debt on the other hand...
>
> The challenge can be convincing them it wasn't you... once you've done
> that it's just a matter of getting people to apply some common sense.

In the few cases I've personally witnessed where there were false
items on someone's credit report, the creditors have been fairly easy
to convince to remove the information from the report.  One thing that
does help is contacting the creditor first, because the credit
reporting agency is pretty much always going to believe them (and the
law largely backs them up in this position).  "Identity theft" can
definitely be a nightmare in the case of a stubborn creditor or a
really well executed attack, but I've always assumed the person who
actually loses the money is the creditor, barring some sort of
negligence on the part of the "victim".

Anthony
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Re: Where ends the responsibility of Wikipedia? (personal information of people)

Jim-60
In reply to this post by Walter Vermeir-2
On 1/29/06, Walter Vermeir <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> I have seen a request form a person who has a entry on the English
> language Wikipedia to remove his date of birth because he fears identity
> theft. He is a USA-citizens.
>

This seems clearly a verifiability issue. If his dob is publicly verifiable,
then having it on wikipedia creates no additional risk for him. If not,
someone who knows him is a wikipedian and they added it, then it should be
removed as not verifiable. And we don't have to bother with the identity
theft issue.

Jim
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Re: Where ends the responsibility of Wikipedia? (personal information of people)

Paweł Dembowski
> This seems clearly a verifiability issue. If his dob is publicly verifiable,
> then having it on wikipedia creates no additional risk for him. If not,
> someone who knows him is a wikipedian and they added it, then it should be
> removed as not verifiable. And we don't have to bother with the identity
> theft issue.
> Jim

This person's birthdate is also available at IMDb, actually...

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Re: Where ends the responsibility of Wikipedia?(personal information of people)

Phil Boswell
"Pawe³ Dembowski" <[hidden email]> wrote in
message news:[hidden email]...
> > This seems clearly a verifiability issue. If his dob is publicly
> > verifiable,
> > then having it on wikipedia creates no additional risk for him. If not,
> > someone who knows him is a wikipedian and they added it, then it should
> > be
> > removed as not verifiable. And we don't have to bother with the identity
> > theft issue.
> This person's birthdate is also available at IMDb, actually...

Then he's out of luck, given the glacial pace of their editing mechanisms...
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Re: Where ends the responsibility of Wikipedia? (personal information of people)

Andrew Gray
In reply to this post by Anthony DiPierro
On 29/01/06, Anthony DiPierro <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 1/29/06, Fred Bauder <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > It is not that your identity so far as the state or federal
> > government is stolen. Identity theft refers to someone gaining
> > sufficient access to your personal information that it is possible to
> > access your credit card accounts and bank accounts or create new
> > ones. What they are stealing is your credit rating. They can then run
> > up a big bill and leave you with it; the banks and credit companies
> > may forgive the debt, but straightening your credit rating will be
> > difficult and time consuming, or expensive (if you hire it done).
> >
>
> Can someone really "run up a big bill and leave you with it"?  I
> thought your authorization was needed in order to enter into a loan.

If I can redirect your mail to me, fake your signature, and
convincingly impersonate you on the phone... there's not much need for
any more authorisation. Sure, the loans and so on may all be
resolvable, in the end, but the loss of earnings, loss of confidence,
can all mount up. Nasty stuff.

And it can get insane. The worst case I've yet heard of involved
selling someone's house from under them -
http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2005/08/identity_thief.html

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Re: Where ends the responsibility of Wikipedia? (personal information of people)

Walter Vermeir-2
In reply to this post by Fred Bauder
Fred Bauder schreef:
[cut]
> I suspect the same thing  could happen to a Belgium citizen.
>
> Could a person armed with your identity card open up a line of credit
> without you knowing it.? Could they get a "lost" identity card issued
> in your name to them?
>
> Fred

I asked some one who works at the bank about this. It is not as save as
I was thinking.

In Belgium you have now 3 types of ID-cards

- the new electronic ID-cart. Contains a chip with secured information.
With the card and your personal pin code you can identify your self
legally. Used for things like your income tax declaration.

- the old ID-card, plastic. Not electronic. The replacement of all
ID-cards by electronic ID-cards is in progress but it takes time to
replace them all.

- the 19th century-style ID-card ; only paper with a picture physical
attached on it with a seal on it. Used for foreigners en refugees. Those
will also be replaced soon by the electronic ID-card but it is not yet so


Situation in Belgium for KBC (major Belgium bank);

To open a bank account;
- if you use a stolen ID card there no systematical check of that card
is stolen or not. Lists of the ID-numbers of stolen cards exist but are
not normally used to check the status of a ID-card.

- if you have an electronic ID-card the information of the chip is
read-out. This contains your name, date of bight, address, national
registration number and a photo. The function that the card supports to
identify yourself with the pin code is not used. The only benefit that
you with the electronic ID-card is the you can be sure the the card and
the information is valid. Of the person using that card it that person
you can not be sure.

Fake cards; so long the card is made good and is non-electronic the bank
can not check them of the are real. There is not check of the
registration numbers are valid and of those match of those on the card.

But if your able to open a bank account you will not be able to max out
your credit and disappear. New customers do not get credit. And the
system that is common is some countrys that you do not have to pay your
credit card bill at the end of the month but only the interest is not
commonly used and only given if the bank really knows that you can pay
for it. Not for a guy who just opened an account.

If you try to get a loan the bank receives the information of all loans
and credit lines that this person has by any Belgian credit company. And
also of the are paying them back or not. So it is not possible to get
several loans on the same person.

So it is not so good as it could be. The total roll out of the
electronic ID card, and if the function of the pin code is used should
make it safer.


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