Thursday, May 06, 2004

Article: Computer glitch gives out free gasoline

Over the last few months, I've written a couple of blog entries[1] about swiping drivers' licenses and the information that discloses. Today's Boston Globe has a funny spin on some consequences for people who voluntarily swiped their licenses instead of credit cards: / News / Odds & ends / Computer glitch gives out free gasoline:

"Computer glitch gives out free gasoline
May 5, 2004

PITTSFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- You can pump, but you can't hide. Some motorists in Michigan have found out the hard way that you can't just gas and go.

They discovered that because of a computer glitch they could swipe their drivers' licenses instead of credit cards to gas up for free at the pumps outside the Meijer chain.

A total of 107 people figured it out, many of them students from nearby colleges in Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor.

In some cases people got as many as 15 fillups over a three-week period. Meijer got hosed for thousands.

But it turns out the information from each transaction with a drivers' license was stored on computer and police are tracking down the culprits."

See "Data toolkit and license decoder", "Decode your barcode, get your personal info", "Great taste, less privacy", and "Bar scheme could breach privacy rules".

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