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New source of identity theft???

As I was exploring some of the features of my 6 month old Sonos Music System today I stumbled upon the Internet Broadcast of commercial radio stations.  Along with radio stations I discovered that many police department radio channels are also broadcast on the net.  Becoming quickly bored with the activity of the St. Paul Police Department I decided the Reno Nevada Police Department would be a much more interesting channel to listen to.
Reno PD Scanner Channel on Sonos

Reno PD Scanner Channel on Sonos

Within a minute of listening to the codes and slang the dispatchers and officers use I was surprised to hear an officer broadcast the name, date of birth, and social security number of a suspect.  He was asking the dispatcher to run a check on the suspect.  A few moments later the dispatcher replied that the suspect was clear. 

Now this was great for the suspect.  But I bet the suspect did not realize that the 3 most personal pieces of identity information were just broadcast in “clear text” over the radio waves for anyone with a scanner.  And now thanks to Internet radio even a person sitting in Minnesota was able to hear this information. 

How ironic is that???  Identity hungry individuals all over the world now have the ability to eavesdrop on information passed around by individuals, who by the way, are the same individuals who will ultimately file the police report for the victims after the identity theft occurs.

And I bet that poor guy in Reno thought the worst thing that happened to him today was a ticket.

In California and many other states companies must notify their customers if their personal information is leaked electronically.  Many of them follow up with a subscription to a credit report monitoring service for those customers should a leak occur.  I find it amazing that the police who should be very skilled at handling evidence and confidential information are dealing with information in this way as a part of normal process/procedure. 

Turns out that the more I look on the Internet I realize that others have discovered this as well:

http://www.darkreading.com/blog/archives/2008/12/when_asked_why.html

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