This one is a biggie. One of the largest traders in personal information in the US, ChoicePoint, allowed criminals masquerading as legit businesses to trawl the personal records of thousands of Americans. ChoicePoint has notified thousands of Californians that their security has been compromised. Because only California has a law requiring such disclosure, this leads to the question of how many peope are affected but are not aware of it?
MSNBC - Database giant gives access to fake firms:
"Criminals posing as legitimate businesses have accessed critical personal data stored by ChoicePoint Inc., a firm that maintains databases of background information on virtually every U.S. citizen, MSNBC.com has learned.
The incident involves a wide swath of consumer data, including names, addresses, Social Security numbers, credit reports and other information. ChoicePoint aggregates and sells such personal information to government agencies and private companies...."