My data was breached

  • Blog Post by: Jane Friedmann
  • January 21, 2013 - 1:36 PM

I was initially confused when I received the business-sized letter from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources on Friday. Had my off-road ATV invitational events destroyed one too many wetland?

Then I recalled the news article about an employee of the DNR who had accessed private driver's-license data for about 5,000 Minnesotans.

Sure enough, the letter informed me that I am one of the victims. I'm in the exclusive club of 5,000. I say exclusive, because 5,000 works out to roughly one of every 1,076 people in the state.

Of course, I got to wondering. Why me? What sets me apart from the other 1,075?  Does the person know me? Did he or she like one of my articles? Hate it? Find my postage-stamp sized columnist's mug shot intriguing in some way?

Ten journalists have stepped forward to say they were among the 5,000. Notably, 9 of those are women.

5,000 is a lot of people to be curious about. And accessing 5,000 records takes a lot of time. Surely the taxpayers were not getting their money's worth out of that government employee.

The letter from the DNR advised me to monitor my credit report for recent activity. Aside from American Express's every-two-month peep at my consumer-worthiness, which, I assume is responsible for the deluge of Delta Airlines/American Express credit card offers that makes my paper shredder feel like it's a valued member of the household, there has been no recent activity.

I guess I'll have to wait until the government decides whether or not it wants to take action against the former employee before I can find out the identity of the person. There's no small amount of irony there.

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