Privacy Invasion and How to Avoid Identity Theft

I subscribe to quite a few RSS feeds, I’m interested in a lot of stuff, or I’m a pack rat, but was checking my index today and read this post Talk about security stupidity from the Network Security Blog that referenced this post IHOP Privacy Invasion from the Id Theft Secrets Blog. An iHop in Boston was requiring customers to leave their drivers licenses with a security guard in order to be seated at a table because they had customers not pay before. There is way too much personal information on your drivers license to just leave with someone so you can eat some pancakes.

It seems, customers were required to leave their driver’s license with a security guard as a requirement to be seated for service. Evidently this particular IHOP outlet had previously been the victim of non paying customers.

What helped to expose this incident as an invasion of privacy, was a former identity theft victim was taken aback by that local IHOP’s request for his personal information.

A driver’s license contains primary information which many retailers use to verify identity against credit cards and check cashing transactions. In the hands of an identity thief “data collector” it’s worth hundreds of dollars each if sold to the various fraud rings in operation domestically.

This site gives out some good advice, well worth visiting the site to read some of his content on id theft, he said Always question, why someone would need your driver’s license and or social security number (ssn), the only time this should really be needed would be financial transactions.

In a statement, the California-based chain said an employee thought making customers leave their driver’s licenses with a security guard would stop them from taking off before paying for their meals.

But the company said the rule was imposed without the knowledge or approval of management. It’s apologizing to customers who were inconvenienced.

One customer said he was shocked when told he had to turn over his license before being seated. John Russo — a past victim of identity theft — said he was going for pancakes, “not buying the Hope diamond.” Source: Customers unhappy over IHOP’s policy to ask for IDs.

It is your right to protect your personal information, and check out the Id Theft Secrets Blog, it looks like it has some good info on identity theft.