Thursday, July 01, 2010

Birth certificates can represent an identity security problem; Puerto Rico orders new ones for everyone

The Associated Press, in a story by Danica Coto, presented a large story of special problems with identity theft in Puerto Rico, as reprinted in the Washington Times on June 28, link here

The story starts with a chronicle of a snack bar owner in Puerto Rico arrested for thefts done in Miami and Chicago under his name.

Part of the problem is that illegal immigrants have been hiding birth certificates under mattresses, and they are easy to steal in a bricks and mortar world, almost becoming like fiat money. Furthermore in Puerto Rico the documents are required to join churches, go to school, and engage in many routine activities. So the territory recently required every resident to apply for a new certificate with security and anti-counterfeit features.

But it is shocking that security procedures with lenders or vendors are so lax that the false certificates get by.

Various other activities in the US require scanning of birth certificates, raising identity security questions, as with this story by Jed Boal from KSL in Utah.

Wikipedia attribution link for map of Puerto Rico

No comments: