March 9, 2005- More than 1100 MA Residents Victimized by ChoicePoint Breach

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-MA) issued the following statement on finding out that 1,122 Massachusetts residents had their personal information stolen in a company privacy breach revealed last week by ChoicePoint:

“Companies like ChoicePoint are playing Russian roulette with the personal information and identities of millions of Americans, and in this case, more than a thousand Massachusetts residents may have been harmed,” said Rep. Markey. “We must take action to protect consumers from more information breaches. I will continue to fight to ensure that these companies do what they must to secure American’s personal, financial and medical records.”

According to reports, ChoicePoint's database has 19 billion public records that include everything from motor vehicle registrations, tax preparation information, license and deed transfers, military records, names, addresses and Social Security numbers. Identity thieves were reportedly able to access this information, and the company has mailed letters to more than 144,000 people (including 1,122 in Massachusetts) informing them that their personal information may have been stolen.

Rep. Markey, along with Senator Ben Nelson, recently unveiled the first-ever plan for regulating companies like ChoicePoint. Rep. Markey is also the co-chair of the Congressional Privacy Caucus, and recently tackled new protections for peoples’ medical records.

March 9, 2005
 CONTACT: Tara McGuinness