Did a number of you LexisNexis users receive this disturbing notice in the mail from LexisNexis?
Seisint (not to be confused with Skynet) is a data-mining company that LexisNexis bought for $775 million, back in 2004. The company created “the Matrix” which gave state and federal governments the ability to analyze records after 9/11.
Back in 2004, LexisNexis was jubilant about the acquisition:
“This is definitely next generation,” said Norm Willox, LexisNexis’s chief officer for privacy, industry and regulatory affairs. “This is the latest and greatest.”
But privacy experts were worried about the technology:
Civil liberties activists warned that the combination of Seisint technology and LexisNexis’s global reach could be massively intrusive if used in the wrong way. “It will hurtle us even faster toward a surveillance society,” said Barry Steinhardt, director of the Technology and Liberty Project at the American Civil Liberties Union. “It can’t be good news here.”
Willox said such fears are overblown because of the care his company takes to ensure that individual privacy is not abused. “LexisNexis has a long history and is well respected for going the extra mile to protect personal privacy,” Willox said. “This or any acquisition is not going to change that.”
Why did LexisNexis wait so long to tell people that its data-mining program had been compromised? More details from the letter after the jump.
The LexisNexis letter states that it delayed telling the general public to allow the U.S. Attorney’s Office to conduct their investigation. But the scope of the possible invasion is quite extensive:
As for solutions, LexisNexis seems to be advocating everything short of moving to a Renaissance fair:
You might need Kash’s help if you want to keep your private information private.
LexisNexis To Buy Seisint For $775 Million [Washington Post]