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TUCoPS :: Privacy :: priv_517.txt

Privacy Digest 5.17 9/3/96




PRIVACY Forum Digest      Tuesday, 3 September 1996      Volume 05 : Issue 17

            Moderated by Lauren Weinstein (lauren@vortex.com)         
              Vortex Technology, Woodland Hills, CA, U.S.A.
	
                       ===== PRIVACY FORUM =====              

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               The PRIVACY Forum is supported in part by the          
                 ACM (Association for Computing Machinery)
	         Committee on Computers and Public Policy,      
          "internetMCI" (a service of the Data Services Division         
      of MCI Telecommunications Corporation), and Cisco Systems, Inc.
                                 - - -
             These organizations do not operate or control the     
          PRIVACY Forum in any manner, and their support does not
           imply agreement on their part with nor responsibility   
        for any materials posted on or related to the PRIVACY Forum.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------


CONTENTS 
	 Lexis-Nexis personal information database
	    (Lauren Weinstein; PRIVACY Forum Moderator)
	 Lexis-Nexis personal information database (Larry Hunter)


 *** Please include a RELEVANT "Subject:" line on all submissions! ***
            *** Submissions without them may be ignored! ***

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The Internet PRIVACY Forum is a moderated digest for the discussion and
analysis of issues relating to the general topic of privacy (both personal
and collective) in the "information age" of the 1990's and beyond.  The
moderator will choose submissions for inclusion based on their relevance and
content.  Submissions will not be routinely acknowledged.

All submissions should be addressed to "privacy@vortex.com" and must have
RELEVANT "Subject:" lines; submissions without appropriate and relevant
"Subject:" lines may be ignored.  Excessive "signatures" on submissions are
subject to editing.  Subscriptions are by an automatic "listserv" system; for
subscription information, please send a message consisting of the word
"help" (quotes not included) in the BODY of a message to:
"privacy-request@vortex.com".  Mailing list problems should be reported to
"list-maint@vortex.com". 

All messages included in this digest represent the views of their
individual authors and all messages submitted must be appropriate to be
distributable without limitations. 

The PRIVACY Forum archive, including all issues of the digest and all
related materials, is available via anonymous FTP from site "ftp.vortex.com",
in the "/privacy" directory.  Use the FTP login "ftp" or "anonymous", and
enter your e-mail address as the password.  The typical "README" and "INDEX"
files are available to guide you through the files available for FTP
access.  PRIVACY Forum materials may also be obtained automatically via
e-mail through the listserv system.  Please follow the instructions above
for getting the listserv "help" information, which includes details
regarding the "index" and "get" listserv commands, which are used to access
the PRIVACY Forum archive.  

All PRIVACY Forum materials are available through the Internet Gopher system
via a gopher server on site "gopher.vortex.com".  Access to PRIVACY Forum
materials is also available through the Internet World Wide Web (WWW) via
the Vortex Technology WWW server at the URL: "http://www.vortex.com";
full keyword searching of all PRIVACY Forum files is available via
WWW access.
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VOLUME 05, ISSUE 17

   Quote for the day:

	"It's so much less painful if you don't flinch."

		-- Boris Karloff
		   "Thriller" ("The Bride Who Died Twice")
		   (NBC; 1960-1962)	           

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Date:    Tue, 3 Sep 1996 11:14:21 PDT
From:    lauren@vortex.com (Lauren Weinstein; PRIVACY Forum Moderator)
Subject: Lexis-Nexis personal information database

Greetings.  The following message arrived too late to get into the previous
digest.  I'm taking the unusual step of sending it out so soon (and without
other items) since I believe that many readers and their friends and
relatives may wish to take *immediate* action based on the information it
contains, which I've verified as correct as far as possible.

As you'll read, Lexis-Nexis has established a massive personal database.  It
is possible to request removal, following the procedures outlined below.
I've also learned independently that Mr. Fister, at (800) 227-9597 x1364, is
the contact for verifying that removals have actually been processed.

Of course, none of this addresses the issues of how many other similar
commercial databases are out there, ones that most persons don't even know
exist and that may not have any procedures for removal.  And how long do you
*stay* off these databases after a removal has been processed?  This is but
the tip of the proverbial iceberg, but just perhaps it'll help serve as a
wakeup call to the general population.

--Lauren--

------------------------------

Date:    Tue, 3 Sep 1996 11:22:15 -0400 (EDT)
From:    Larry Hunter <hunter@intr.net>
Subject: Lexis-Nexis personal information database

Lexis-Nexis sells a commercial database called "Ptrax" which holds detailed
personal information on nearly all Americans (L-N claims it contains 300
million names).  This database includes name, current address, up to two
previous addresses, phone number, birth-date, social security number,
mother's maiden name and possible other personal information.  This database
is kept quite current.  Through the Nexis Express service, this information
could be available to any individual with a credit card.

As most readers will are aware, such information could easily be used for
theft of identity and other frauds.  It is possible to have one's name
removed from this database by making a telephone request.  Call
(800)543-6862, select option 4 ("all other questions") and tell the
representative answering that you wish to remove your name from the Ptrax
database.  You may also send a fax to (513)865-7360, or physical mail to
LEXIS-NEXIS / P.O. Box 933 / Dayton, Ohio 45401-0933.  Sending physical mail
to confirm your name has been removed is always a good idea.

As word of the existence of this database has spread on the net, Lexis-Nexis
has been inundated with calls, and has set up a special set of operators to
handle the volume.  In addition, Andrew Bleh (rhymes with "Play") is a
manager responsible for this product, and is the person to whom complaints
about the service could be directed.  He can be reached at the above 800
number, selection option 4 and then ask for extension 3385.

The information in this note has been been confirmed by me, and was
originally provided in forwarded messages from Russell Whitaker, Jason
Werner, Vern Winters, Katherine Florman and Reuben Snipper.

Larry Hunter
hunter@intr.net

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End of PRIVACY Forum Digest 05.17
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