Identity theft | Consumer Alert — The Federal Trade Commission has set up a new web site and phone number for identity theft victims of the Choicepoint data breach. The new site and phone number gives victims information on how to file claims for monetary reimbursement if out- of- pocket losses accrued as a result of the ID theft. A fund of $5 million is available to victims, the deadline for filing is February 4, 2007.
Medical records privacy and how-to — Following its report on medical identity theft, the World Privacy Forum has responded to the need for specialized advice for victims of medical identity theft. The Access, Amendment, and Accounting of Disclosures: FAQs for Medical ID Theft Victims is the first resource of its kind, and is intended to help victims navigate the complicated process of correcting medical files and recovering from the unique harms of medical identity theft. The FAQ includes sample letters to use, as well as step-by-step advice on how to get a copy of health records, ask for changes to health records from healthcare providers, and ask for a history of disclosures of health records.
The World Privacy Forum and the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse have become aware of a nationwide job scam currently in action. We are advising job seekers to avoid any response to job ads coming from Macrocommerce Intersales and to be aware of the high potential for financial fraud and /or identity theft if they have already responded to job ads from this company.
Consumer tips on managing cookies — Some computer cookies are harmless, but others can track your moves across many Web sites, eventually building a detailed history of your preferences. The good news is that you can manage these persistent tracking cookies to some degree. To do this, you need to know how to say no to the third party tracking cookies you don’t want while still allowing yourself to say yes to the cookies you do want. There are several ways to do this. One way is to download “opt-out cookies.” Another way is to use your browser’s cookie management tools to manage your cookies. Another method is to regularly delete unwanted cookies. In some cases, you can stop tracking through account preferences at some web sites.