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Old April 4 2011, 11:57 PM   #1
J. Allen
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Epsilon Security Breach and Privacy

If you haven't heard about it yet, Epsilon, a company that stores consumer information, had a huge security breach and millions of email addresses connected with names were exposed to a third party [LINK]

In what may be one of the largest digital security breaches in United States history, millions of customer email addresses have been exposed as a result of a breach at Epsilon. BGR reported on Saturday that TiVo customer email adresses had been compromised as a result of unauthorized access to online marketing company Epsilon’s servers. Following that report, several other companies have come forward to confirm that their customers’ email adresses may have been exposed. Those potentially affected include customers enrolled in Best Buy’s Reward Zone program as well as customers of Citigroup, J.P. Morgan Chase, TiVo, Barclays, Walgreens, U.S. Bancorp, Capital One, HSN and College Board, which represents almost 6,000 different U.S. colleges and universities.
Now, as for myself, in the past few days I've received a ton of email notifications from various retailers and financial institutions telling me I should now be wary because of this breach.

Epsilon insists that none of the emails and names were connected to financial data or personal data like social security numbers, but how much of that is certain? At the very least, people on that list will now start getting a lot more spam. This makes me think about privacy, and how much we expect from large companies who are charged with protecting sensitive data. Look at social media sites like Facebook, where every bit of data is gleaned and stored, and then sold to third parties.

People say "don't put your information out there for others to see", and for social sites like Facebook and Myspace, that's true, but for companies like U.S. Bank, Target, Best Buy, collegiate institutions, what do you do there? If these third parties didn't get access to CC# and SS# info, how close were they? How well protected is that information?

As a note, I'd like this to be in Misc instead of Sci/Tech because I'm focusing more on the social aspects of it, not just the technology aspects of it.

So, what are your thoughts?

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