Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Scary--the perils of being 'digitally dead'

Hey banks: This woman is alive!
Judy Rivers went to the bank with a simple request in April: She wanted to open a safe deposit box. The response, while equally simple, was a complete surprise. The bank turned her down. Why?

She was dead.

At least that's what the bank's security systems indicated. Sorry, a bank official said, we can't open an account for you. Rivers asked more questions but got only vague answers. An outside company indicated there was a problem with her Social Security number, she was told, but the bank wouldn't tell her the name of the firm.
Apparently someone can make a clerical error somewhere in an unverified database and poof! your life as you know it (access to your money, to credit, anything based off your social security number) can go down the tube, and everyone starts treating you like you're some identity thief who has stolen another person's life, when you're just trying to access your own. And it can be nearly impossible to track down all the errors that derive from that one and get your life back. Read the article. It's worse than any fictional horror story, and it could happen so easily. It's as bad as dealing with the many-headed hydra of identity theft, or worse.

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