Tuesday, March 08, 2005

ChoicePoint appoints first privacy officer

ChoicePoint has appointed a big name former TSA official to be its new privacy officer, according to Forbes:

Forbes.com: Smith: ChoicePoint Names TSA Big As Chief Privacy Officer:

Faces In The News Smith: ChoicePoint Names TSA Big As Chief Privacy Officer Greg Levine, 03.08.05, 5:13 PM ET NEW YORK - Doers and doings in business, entertainment and technology: It's a start. Data dealer ChoicePoint (nyse: CPS - news - people ) on Tuesday announced it hired a U.S. Transportation Security Administration big to batten its info hatches. Helmed by Chief Executive Derek Smith, the firm has recently suffered an incursion by identity thieves. (Related note: On Feb. 25, Bank of America (nyse: BAC - news - people ) too suffered a security compromise.) ChoicePoint said its new employee, TSA Deputy Administrator Carol A. DiBattiste, has been named chief credentialing, compliance and privacy officer. She will lead an independent office to oversee improvements to ChoicePoint's screening process, and its enacting of procedures to streamline how incidents are reported. The TSA oversees airport screening in the U.S. Any such moves to regain the public's trust are vital at this juncture: After the CEO stated that the recent incident was the only such major security compromise of which he was aware, Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Krause in Los Angeles claimed he'd dug up evidence of to the contrary, viz.: A sizable identity theft in 2002. Then, on March 4, the firm said the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating stock sales by Smith and by Chief Operating Officer Douglas Curling. So it couldn't hurt ChoicePoint's image--not to mention its operations--to bring in "untouchables" like DiBattiste. More...

It is somewhat surprising that a company that deals in personal information never had an officer responsible for privacy. Perhaps that's why the original breaches never came to the attention of the executives.

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