EPIC - credit cards

From section 5 of EPIC Alert 10.06: "Data Industry Initiates Anti-Privacy Credit Campaign."

Let's see now: I worked for the sister company of Fannie Mae, and I worked for a company that did business with MBNA, Household International, and Discover (which I assume is owned by Morgan Stanley-Discover Financial Services). In addition, I had MBNA and Discover credit cards at one point - I cancelled MBNA for absolutely shitty service (they nearly doubled my rate because I was late on a single payment), and Discover because I didn't need them.

I'm wondering - what happens to these companies when we the people make identity theft their problem? What if we say that they are liable when a criminal uses their services or gathers any data from them, under whatever guise said criminal uses? Do you think that passing the federal privacy preemptions would help them in any way?

I've toyed around with the idea of starting a privacy-protective credit card. Once you sign up, you the cardholder determine exactly how your data is used. You decide if the account gets reported to the credit agencies at all, and if so, which ones. You decide, by opting in for whatever time period you want, whether your info is marketed to anyone. You choose whether data on your past purchases is retained (I don't know what VISA/MasterCard's policies are on that, and what the govt requires, but however much data must be kept, you decide how little). At all junctures, you the cardholder choose how much data goes to whom when.

Written by Andrew Ittner in misc on Thu 27 March 2003. Tags: commentary, news, privacy