The Power of the Profile
When it comes to personal information in America, the genie is out of the bottle. As such, information security will continue to be a pressing concern especially to most of our top three-letter-agencies such as the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency), NSA (National Security Agency), DOD (Department of Defense), and HS (Homeland Security) as most of them are staffed with employees with top secret security clearances (also known as TS).When someone is given this clearance, not only are they slated to uphold an allegiance to core values but they are also entrusted with our nations’ sensitive secrets and are held to the highest standards. Many of these professionals are honest and loyal to their country, but all humans are susceptible to preservation, desires, and needs that the famous psychologist Maslow showed in his famous hierarchy of needs pyramid. As such, without undue temptation and trickery most handle their jobs well and uphold their commitments to quietly (sometimes loudly) dedicate their lives to patriotism.
The reality is in 2013 most American lives are being logged at every step from being filmed as they buy a soda at 7-11 or doing your homework at the computer lab at a community college. And, although many have heard about this intrusion, many do not most know the extent of this information and its impact when it is combined in a profile. This profile is used in background checks for top security clearances that the Office of Personnel Management (2013) requires to obtain this credential. Today, all people that have top security clearances are at risk to be targeted in ways that are deviant and often passive. To understand the profile is used to supply background checks, a history of the former company ChoicePoint will be explained to show this security threat of this now defunct company has contributed to this risk.
Credit agencies became integral in the United States when the Fair Credit Report Act (FCRA) was passed in the early 1970s (FCRA, 2013). With the creation of the FCRA, several companies began to sell personal information to meet the laws of the FCRA. ChoicePoint was one of the companies. Equifax, a credit reporting agency still in business today, was created on February 29, 1988 and spun off in 1997 to create ChoicePoint (OS, 2013). The first capture of the Website by the Internet Archive Wayback Machine show its first Website capture time stamped as January 28, 1998 (Wayback Machine (1), n.d.). The site was simplistic showing its address as Williamsville, Vermont. By August 6, 2004, its Website showed African American children running and laughing on a colorful site stating it is an “Atlanta Woman Magazine's 2004 Good Company of the Year Atlanta Woman Magazine's 2004 Good Company of the Year” winner (Wayback Machine (2), n.d.).
According to Joanna Grama (2011), ChoicePoint had a security breach in 2005 which was widely publicized because 35,000 California residents were...