Direct or indirect abuse of private information can lead to fraud and impersonation. Identity theft is a growing issue of discussion due to the availability of personal and private information on the web.
Seven million Americans were subject to identity theft in 2002, 12 million in 2011, which made it the fastest growing cyber-crime in the United States. Public records, search engines, and databases are the main culprits contributing to the rise of cybercrime.
To restrict and limit online databases from proliferating sensitive personnel information, the following commandments may be useful.
● Do not include sensitive unique identifiers, such as social security numbers, birth dates, hometown and mothers’ maiden names in the database records.
● Exclude those phone numbers, which are normally unlisted.
● There must be simple and clear provision for people to remove their names from a database.
● Reverse social security number lookup services should be banned.