Personal Data Collection

 

I was setting up an online account for our fire department’s Costco account this morning. After I had created my user name and password, I was asked in an email to verify my account, and a pop-up window told me they used a third-party service to identify people.

Each question was multiple choice. The first question asked was the color of a motorcycle I purchased in 2015 (and still own). The second was in what state did I live in from 1970 to 1975; the third gave the name of the street where my wife and I lived in our senior year of college (1981-82), and asked me to select the city.  I think it asked a fourth question which I have forgotten.

I assume this data is likely sourced from credit reporting places, but it still amazes me how quickly it could access these details. After all, we didn’t have any credit cards when we were in college, I paid cash for the motorcycle, and from ’70 to ’75 I was a middle and high schooler. Of course, once it’s in the database it’s virtually instantly accessible.

Mrs Tex and I once counted how many places had our fingerprints, and I think it was six (and neither of us has ever been arrested). Someplace the USAF has her footprint as all pilots get footprinted for identification in the case of a crash (for obviously gruesome reasons). But dot-gov has nothing on the credit agencies.

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  1. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Tex929rr: But .gov has nothing on the credit agencies.  

    I hope not. But I’m afraid it has everything, and a lot more.

    The credit agencies can’t legally conduct 24 hour full surveillance on you–every call, every email, every google search, every web page visited, and store it all in a database indefinitely, all without your awareness.

    The NSA can and does.

    • #1
  2. Barfly Member
    Barfly
    @Barfly

    Not creepy. Not a bit.

    • #2
  3. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt
    @DouglasPratt

    I used to have a Top Secret clearance, so I’m sure that anyone can get any info about me they want from China.

    • #3
  4. JustmeinAZ Member
    JustmeinAZ
    @JustmeinAZ

    Sometimes these types of verifications ask me questions to which I can’t even remember the answer. I guess I’m not me.

    • #4
  5. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):

    Sometimes these types of verifications ask me questions to which I can’t even remember the answer. I guess I’m not me.

    That’s probably why most of them seem to be “multiple-guess.”

    • #5
  6. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    Those sort of verifications are rough on me.  Early on I figured I could not keep info from people.  I went the other way and give disinformation everywhere and everything.  There are 10 or 15 addresses for me that I have never been too.  People’s names as friends I have never met.  Spouses of many sexes I have had.  Makes getting loans a bit rough but fk them, I mainly deal with cash.

    • #6
  7. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Modern record-keeping can be impressive, but I think it’s sometimes taken too far in fiction especially.  There’s a part of the Babylon 5 episode “Comes The Inquisitor” in which Sheridan asks Ivanova to look up an address in London from 1888.  No matter how sophisticated their computer system might be, I simply don’t believe that kind of information would be AVAILABLE to be ENTERED INTO the computer system.  And the information cannot be retrieved unless it was first entered.

    • #7
  8. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Modern record-keeping can be impressive, but I think it’s sometimes taken too far in fiction especially. There’s a part of the Babylon 5 episode “Comes The Inquisitor” in which Sheridan asks Ivanova to look up an address in London from 1888. No matter how sophisticated their computer system might be, I simply don’t believe that kind of information would be AVAILABLE to be ENTERED INTO the computer system. And the information cannot be retrieved unless it was first entered.

    I am not so sure.  As computing power gets cheaper and AI gets more sophisticated I can see effects to digitize all hard copy documents to share around the world and AI processes creating the metadata for search databases as well as being able for AIs to search non traditional, non standard data and metadata 

    • #8
  9. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Modern record-keeping can be impressive, but I think it’s sometimes taken too far in fiction especially. There’s a part of the Babylon 5 episode “Comes The Inquisitor” in which Sheridan asks Ivanova to look up an address in London from 1888. No matter how sophisticated their computer system might be, I simply don’t believe that kind of information would be AVAILABLE to be ENTERED INTO the computer system. And the information cannot be retrieved unless it was first entered.

    I am not so sure. As computing power gets cheaper and AI gets more sophisticated I can see effects to digitize all hard copy documents to share around the world and AI processes creating the metadata for search databases as well as being able for AIs to search non traditional, non standard data and metadata

    Why would you think such hard-copies exist for a rental house or whatever, in 1888 London?  I doubt that any such records exist for ME for the last several years, even.  They can get some stuff from credit files etc, but much of it for many people would never have made it past cleaning out closets etc.

    • #9
  10. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    Those sort of verifications are rough on me. Early on I figured I could not keep info from people. I went the other way and give disinformation everywhere and everything. There are 10 or 15 addresses for me that I have never been too. People’s names as friends I have never met. Spouses of many sexes I have had. Makes getting loans a bit rough but fk them, I mainly deal with cash.

    By the way, I know what you did last summer.

    • #10
  11. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Modern record-keeping can be impressive, but I think it’s sometimes taken too far in fiction especially. There’s a part of the Babylon 5 episode “Comes The Inquisitor” in which Sheridan asks Ivanova to look up an address in London from 1888. No matter how sophisticated their computer system might be, I simply don’t believe that kind of information would be AVAILABLE to be ENTERED INTO the computer system. And the information cannot be retrieved unless it was first entered.

    I am not so sure. As computing power gets cheaper and AI gets more sophisticated I can see effects to digitize all hard copy documents to share around the world and AI processes creating the metadata for search databases as well as being able for AIs to search non traditional, non standard data and metadata

    Why would you think such hard-copies exist for a rental house or whatever, in 1888 London? I doubt that any such records exist for ME for the last several years, even. They can get some stuff from credit files etc, but much of it for many people would never have made it past cleaning out closets etc.

    Maybe they do and maybe they don’t.  But London in 1888 is in the time frame that information started to collect.  Tax rolls created.  Church documents kept. Police records created. Newspapers published.  Legal documents filed.  Immigration papers filed.  I know people that do genealogy and they tend to amaze at the amount of tracking they can do.   The biggest problem is much of the data is isolated in non digital form.  If it was digitized things might be found that would surprise us.  If that is good or bad will be interesting to discover

    • #11
  12. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    Those sort of verifications are rough on me. Early on I figured I could not keep info from people. I went the other way and give disinformation everywhere and everything. There are 10 or 15 addresses for me that I have never been too. People’s names as friends I have never met. Spouses of many sexes I have had. Makes getting loans a bit rough but fk them, I mainly deal with cash.

    Ha, ha.  I’ll never have to get a loan the rest of my life, so I don’t care what lies I have to tell.

    • #12
  13. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    [wrong post]

    • #13
  14. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Tex929rr: But dot-gov has nothing on the credit agencies.

    If there are any organizations that can track you down, it’s alumni associations.  I remember I had just moved into my Florida apartment and the first piece of mail I got was from the NC State Alumni Association asking for money.  Heck, my stepfather kept getting stuff from his schools years after he died, and evn after my mother had notified them of his passing . . .

    • #14
  15. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):
    Maybe they do and maybe they don’t.  But London in 1888 is in the time frame that information started to collect.  Tax rolls created.  Church documents kept. Police records created. Newspapers published.  Legal documents filed.  Immigration papers filed.  I know people that do genealogy and they tend to amaze at the amount of tracking they can do.   The biggest problem is much of the data is isolated in non digital form.  If it was digitized things might be found that would surprise us.  If that is good or bad will be interesting to discover

    Actually, it was during the Napoleonic reforms in Europe that the amount of recordkeeping by governments really started to pick up.  It was overall a gradual process, but not so gradual during that period.  A government that needed lots of young men to send to the wars, and a lot of tax dollars to pay for them, needed to be modern and efficient, which meant keeping records on everyone. 

    • #15
  16. JustmeinAZ Member
    JustmeinAZ
    @JustmeinAZ

    Stad (View Comment):

    Tex929rr: But dot-gov has nothing on the credit agencies.

    If there are any organizations that can track you down, it’s alumni associations. 

    Isn’t that the truth! I finished my degree at another school, got divorced, remarried and moved across the country and back again and the University of California at Riverside Alumni Assoc started sending me their publication years and years after my last year spent there. It just goes in the trash.

     

    • #16
  17. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Tex929rr: But dot-gov has nothing on the credit agencies.

    If there are any organizations that can track you down, it’s alumni associations.

    Isn’t that the truth! I finished my degree at another school, got divorced, remarried and moved across the country and back again and the University of California at Riverside Alumni Assoc started sending me their publication years and years after my last year spent there. It just goes in the trash.

    Alumni associations have a vast network of spies and informers.

    • #17
  18. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Tex929rr: But dot-gov has nothing on the credit agencies.

    If there are any organizations that can track you down, it’s alumni associations.

    Isn’t that the truth! I finished my degree at another school, got divorced, remarried and moved across the country and back again and the University of California at Riverside Alumni Assoc started sending me their publication years and years after my last year spent there. It just goes in the trash.

    Alumni associations have a vast network of spies and informers.

    So do most Churches and Religions.   Anybody that mines money from the public keeps list and informants.  

    • #18
  19. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    Those sort of verifications are rough on me. Early on I figured I could not keep info from people. I went the other way and give disinformation everywhere and everything. There are 10 or 15 addresses for me that I have never been too. People’s names as friends I have never met. Spouses of many sexes I have had. Makes getting loans a bit rough but fk them, I mainly deal with cash.

    By the way, I know what you did last summer.

    Which mistruth did you hear?

    • #19
  20. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    Tex929rr: Each question was multiple choice. The first question asked was the color of a motorcycle I purchased in 2015 (and still own). The second was in what state did I live in from 1970 to 1975; the third gave the name of the street where my wife and I lived in our senior year of college (1981-82), and asked me to select the city.

    That’s seriously weird.

    Every time I’ve run into these security questions, its a multiple choice generic list (What city were you born in), nothing specific to my life.

    And I always give fake answers that I keep written down/secured.  Sarah Palin got her email hacked in 2008 because an enterprising reporter did a password reset on her account, and the question was what year she graduated from High School, which was pubic information.

    That’s also why there used to be all those “quizzes” on facebook – “Your rapper name is the name of the street you grew up on and the name of your first pet”.

     

    • #20
  21. Tex929rr Coolidge
    Tex929rr
    @Tex929rr

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    That’s seriously weird.

    Every time I’ve run into these security questions, its a multiple choice generic list (What city were you born in), nothing specific to my life.

    I’ve seen the same when you are asked to select a security question and then provide the answer.  But this was a deal where they were verifying that I was who I said I was; they asked the questions with multiple choice answers provided (5 answers per question), and clearly already knew the answers.  I can’t think of where they got the motorcycle info unless they can access registration/title or insurance records.  

    • #21
  22. Phil Turmel Coolidge
    Phil Turmel
    @PhilTurmel

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    Those sort of verifications are rough on me. Early on I figured I could not keep info from people. I went the other way and give disinformation everywhere and everything. There are 10 or 15 addresses for me that I have never been too. People’s names as friends I have never met. Spouses of many sexes I have had. Makes getting loans a bit rough but fk them, I mainly deal with cash.

    I do this too.  I keep notes in my password database (not a cloud one) of which lies I’ve told on which security questions for which websites.  If hackers gather it all up and compare to my very thin file credit history, they will be very confused.

    • #22
  23. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Stad (View Comment):

    Tex929rr: But dot-gov has nothing on the credit agencies.

    If there are any organizations that can track you down, it’s alumni associations. I remember I had just moved into my Florida apartment and the first piece of mail I got was from the NC State Alumni Association asking for money. Heck, my stepfather kept getting stuff from his schools years after he died, and evn after my mother had notified them of his passing . . .

    Continuing to receive mail after dying, doesn’t actually speak well of anyone’s data mining or manipulation capabilities.

    • #23
  24. Doctor Robert Member
    Doctor Robert
    @DoctorRobert

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Modern record-keeping can be impressive, but I think it’s sometimes taken too far in fiction especially. There’s a part of the Babylon 5 episode “Comes The Inquisitor” in which Sheridan asks Ivanova to look up an address in London from 1888. No matter how sophisticated their computer system might be, I simply don’t believe that kind of information would be AVAILABLE to be ENTERED INTO the computer system. And the information cannot be retrieved unless it was first entered.

    I am not so sure. As computing power gets cheaper and AI gets more sophisticated I can see effects to digitize all hard copy documents to share around the world and AI processes creating the metadata for search databases as well as being able for AIs to search non traditional, non standard data and metadata

    Why would you think such hard-copies exist for a rental house or whatever, in 1888 London? I doubt that any such records exist for ME for the last several years, even. They can get some stuff from credit files etc, but much of it for many people would never have made it past cleaning out closets etc.

    Maybe they do and maybe they don’t. But London in 1888 is in the time frame that information started to collect. Tax rolls created. Church documents kept. Police records created. Newspapers published. Legal documents filed. Immigration papers filed. I know people that do genealogy and they tend to amaze at the amount of tracking they can do. The biggest problem is much of the data is isolated in non digital form. If it was digitized things might be found that would surprise us. If that is good or bad will be interesting to discover

    The Domesday Book.

    qed 

    • #24
  25. Bartholomew Xerxes Ogilvie, Jr. Coolidge
    Bartholomew Xerxes Ogilvie, Jr.
    @BartholomewXerxesOgilvieJr

    Phil Turmel (View Comment):

    I do this too. I keep notes in my password database (not a cloud one) of which lies I’ve told on which security questions for which websites. If hackers gather it all up and compare to my very thin file credit history, they will be very confused.

    I use a password app to generate random passwords. And if a site requires that I configure security questions, I use the same app to generate random passwords for those answers as well. Seems to me that if the security questions are less secure than the password, there’s no point in having the secure password.

    So yeah, any hacker who gets into one of my accounts is likely to see that the name of my first pet was d9j9TtuQVCCz.

    • #25