Common Data Compositions

Any security person will tell you that any information on a system is potentially dangerous.  Securing information is more difficult than just locking a door.  There are organizations that gather information about you and sell this information to the government.  This is legal because people don’t have an exclusive right to privacy (http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/rightofprivacy.html).   The only way to keep information secure is to limit information generated.

Aggregated information that is composed from multiple sources can impact you and your family in many ways.  There are some websites that pull information in about you from multiple sources like

So, there are plenty of sites that reach out to multiple sources and compose your personal information.  I listed these as an example; I suggest you look yourself up.  This lends itself to a lot of other issues regarding information composition.  Information needs validation checkpoints, without validation the composed data as a view may be wrong.

Why is bad information a big deal?

While there are many reasons, I am only going to address one.    Not unlike a credit report, the information pulled from multiple sources is pulled into a dashboard report or recomposed to be pulled from another service.   The information is used by agencies including credit reporting companies.  Now let’s say your name is George Daily, one of the sites has you aliased as George Daly or Georgie Daily.   George Daly is a person who has a very serious problem with credit and his name is mapped to your name because of the alias.  When the credit agency pulls your record, pieces of the Daly credit history get pulled into the report.   You do have a remedy, you can dispute every wrong entry but with aggregated data it can take a very long time to deal with this kind of common issue.  If you are looking to do something with your house, buy a car or simply take advantage of a 10% deal at Home Depot, you won’t be able to until you resolve this.   Once again, there are many reasons that this can be a problem, my suggestion is to search for your name and find the composed datasets looking for linkages to the original sources.  Once you find them, make sure that the information is taken down or at the very minimum fixed to reflect the truth.  Also,  check your credit reports at least once a year.

 

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