Richard Thomas, the information commissioner, spoke before the House of Lords Constitution Committee, raising concerns about the consequences of data-sharing, whether on social networks like Facebook, or with other data-sharing practices between public and private sectors.
It's time people wake up to the serious fraud issues those practices raise. Identity information should be confidential, from date of birth (=age) to mother's maiden name and so...
see the UK practice to let the information of the civil registry available to all. The justification in 1860s when created on the grounds of creating statistics is no longer adapted to the reality of the 21st century. ANybody can obtain one's mother maiden, the very word considered by banks as the most secure password! At least the practice in France and in most continental European countries enforces security as the information on the civil registry can only be accessed by the individual concerned or his immediate family, but never by banks, employer, lending firms...
see for the electoral register also available to anybody lending no more than 10p and the controversial claim the founder of 192.com makes about availability of data: big bother is not anymore the state but your neighbour! http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2007/nov/08/freeourdata.news
"New front in the battle against identity theft"
By Robert Verkaik, Law Editor
Published: 23 November 2007
And a new point against social networking: "Facebook enabling tailored email attacks" 21 november 2007