Computerworld is a fecund source of privacy commentary. This week, C.J. Kelley thinks about the costs and potential liabilites of privacy regulation. The author includes the following scenario to illustrate the potential impact of a privacy breach upon an individual:
The Cost of Securing the People's Privacy - Computerworld:
"... Here's a nightmare scenario: Two years later, you are buying a home. You have already sold your old house and moved into temporary housing, since you have every reason to believe that the purchase of the new home will go through without a hitch. In the middle of the back-and-forth with the loan officer over interest rates, he calls and tells you that your loan has been turned down because of an overwhelming number of extremely negative items on your credit report. You're stunned. You may not have perfect credit, but it certainly qualifies for the best interest rates. The loan officer provides copies of your credit report to you, and you see that it's filled with items that you don't recognize, including locations you have never lived in or visited. Your credit score is in the proverbial toilet. How could this have happened? Without your knowledge, ever since that DMV security breach, someone else has been using your Social Security number and identity and has basically ruined your life...."
The rest of the article is a good read, too.