Data warehouses vs. Identity Thieves{5}

by Eric H

In this article it talks about identity thief and data warehouse. ChoicePoint is a company that do business in obtain public records like court records, or purchasing data from companies that we do business with (eBay, EastBay, etc).  An example of the type of data ChoicePoint might have of yours are Social Security number, name and address, credit card transaction histories, mortgages, loans, etc. With the data they have of about you, they gives a rough idea about you to those that are might buy data from ChoicePoint to get a idea about you (getting hired for a job, applying for mortgages, etc).   Recent breaches at ChoicePoint have disclosed 140,000 individuals’ personal data to the a group of unauthorized people that got in to the system (Vamosi, 2005). They did so by creating fraudulently accounts with ChoicePoint then bought data from them, they then use these data they have to defraud people, and they can use these data to open credit accounts, or apply for mortgages under the victims’ names (Vamosi, 2005).


I found this interesting and it relates to what we talked about in class because it in about data warehouses. But in this article, it talks about warehouse in a way that is not related to technical side of warehouse, but potential non-technical threats we have with data warehouse.  There are many advantages to data warehousing, such like convenience, cuts cost. But centralization of data also makes data warehouse a big target for these hackers, or anyone that have illegitimate reason for these data. Security for database might get better over time, but at the same time the hackers are also advancing. However, some good news that’s related to the non-technical part is that now there are laws about who can purchase data from companies like ChoicePoint, and all the difficult steps they have to go through to set up accounts. However, I am not sure if the benefits of data warehouses can out weight the potential harms can data warehouse can do.




Vamosi, R. (2005, February 25). Cnet. Retrieved from