Colorado data brokers –more than one bad rap

A Colorado newspaper has revisited a couple of sore subjects for private investigators: the closure of that states’ public records, which I detailed last month [read RCFP’s update]; the information broker whose high profile antics set in motion the Gramm-Leach-Bliley legislation.

In State a data broker hub the author claims that the congressional interest in the solicitation of personal information through phone records is focused on Colorado.

Several private investigators –a profession not licensed in Colorado– happily got their names in the article and James Rapp, the former databroker convicted of racketeering, was profiled.

Today, the James Rapp’s are in the spotlight because of their self-promotion on the Internet leading to proposed federal legislation, congressional hearings, state laws specifically restricting procurement of telephone subcriber records, and litigation by state Attorneys General. I’ve written about 20 postings on this topic du jour, including the recent legislation passed in Washington and Florida.

While terms like “fraud” are applied to the practice of impersonating a customer to get their account details, until recently, this has not been unlawful.

The Wikipedia definition of fraud suggests that the pretexter is deceiving the subject, which isn’t the case when contact is made with the telephone provider, and the intent is to bring harm, which is probably not the usual situation.

In criminal law, fraud is the crime or offense of deliberately deceiving another in order to damage them — usually, to obtain property or services from him or her unjustly.

Also see the recent report of the wholesale closure of court records by Colorado courts that claim they don’t have the resources to comply with the state Supreme Court mandate to redact personal information.


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