The recent news stories, reporting the arrest of some crooks who apparently stole the identities of tens of thousands of people, pull my cord. There are three aspects to this story I feel are not getting sufficiently reported.
First. The victims have no effect way to recover their lives. Once your identity is stolen repairing it is nearly impossible. This is a horrific breakdown that is entirely the fault of the financial industry and it’s partners in state and federal goverments responsible for regulating the industry.
Second. Consider a principle of property law. A property owner need not take particular care to protect trespassers from injury on his property, but the so called “attractive nuisance doctrine” is the exception. If the property “invites” the trespasser by virtue of its attractive nature then the owner become libel. Children (and the stupid) are the part of the public the law is attempting to protect with this doctrine. This is why we put fences around swimming pools and why we don’t leave guns in the bed side table. It would be a crime not to.
Most of the reports about this crime point the finger of blame at the crooks. I think if you: pour gasoline all over a room, leave matches on the table, and then let a few million people wander thru. I find it very hard to argue that the idiot who lights the match for the resulting fire.
Third. $60.00 each. That’s all the crooks got when they sold each person’s identity. That’s it. That’s all your identity is worth in the open market.
The crime here was a failure to regulate this industry. A failure to work with the financial industry to keep a lid on this mess. A nearly total lack of effort to temper the misery it inflicts on innocent people.