Several recent high-profile incidents have thrust identity theft into the media spotlight. The first to gain notoriety involved the credit-verification company ChoicePoint, which in 2004 inadvertently delivered electronic files containing the names, addresses, social security numbers, and credit reports for almost 140,000 people to identity thieves in the Los Angeles area. In 2007 the British government lost computer disks that contained the personal details of every family in the country. In both cases, the media and authorities articulated a series of anxieties about how this data could be exploited. A plethora of security experts quickly emerged to offer citizens…
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