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Despite Promises, Lifelock Knows Public Data is A Risk

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Todd Davis didn't post his social security number publicly because he thought his company could protect it. He did it as an advertising gimmick that netted him almost 2 million paying customers. At least, I have to assume that's what Todd's motivations were because I'm guessing he's not an idiot and knew his service wouldn't actually prevent ID theft. Even if he were, there have been so particularly telling clues recently such as:

  1. Having his own identity robbed 13 times since the stunt began.
  2. The 12 million dollar settlement with the FTC over false advertising relating to their gross misrepresentation of being able to prevent ID theft.

That's why when an employee's sensitive data showed up online, they worked to have it removed. No one should have their social security number posted publicly because the risk is too great. Unless of course you're the CEO of a company that charges $10/month to almost 2 million people and can afford any amount of ID theft you're hit with.

For those that are bad at math, that's 20 million a month income. Makes that $12 million settlement seem kind of inconsequential doesn't it?

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$12 Million Settlement Against Lifelock for Deceptive Advertising

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I'm not surprised about the fine, just that it took this long. Of course, they'll just shrug it off and any other lawsuit so long as they make more money than they spend.

Sadly, by the time someone actually shuts Lifelock down (if ever), the people responsible for it will be so rich that it won't make any difference. But until then, we can feel a little happier knowing that there are some organizations that are making them pay for their dishonesty; although 12 million dollars is less than one month of Lifelock's income on their almost 2 million reported customers.

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An Open Challenge to Todd Davis of Lifelock

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I have been challenging the value of Lifelock for a while based on the fact that they claim to prevent ID theft, but can't. It looks like several other people have come to that conclusion and are busy suing him for as much of his millions that they can get.

The problem is that even with CNN, Wired, and Yahoo finally getting around to spreading the word, Lifelock is still going very strong.

Even though I've been chasing lifelock postings around on the net and posting comments letting people know the truth, I don't think my efforts are going to amount to much in the long-run. That's why I've decided to challenge Todd Davis directly. He's obviously a showy type that feels comfortable challenging others so now it's time to turn the tables. I've looked into Lifelock's features and found them useful, but far from worth the money spent. But with only one feature addition, that could all change. So let's get to it:

Dear Todd Davis,

You appear at first glance to be quite the swift talker. You've promised to prevent ID Theft, but for some reason, you ignore the one and only tool that can actually do that: credit freezes.

I don't know why, perhaps you didn't know about them. But leaving your motivations and ID Theft experience aside, you can and should include credit freezes into your service immediately. Not only would you actually be able to prevent ID theft as you originally claimed, but you'd be able to help your customers in a very real way.

If you were to include both the freezing and as-needed thawing of freezes into your service, even I will agree that Lifelock has value.

Sure, I won't recommend it to everyone I know and I won't use it myself, but I would be able to honestly recommend it to people who would otherwise never get or use a freeze if they didn't have your service's help.

So pay attention Mr. Davis: If you want to turn public opinion toward your company and prevent the inevitable tide of negativity that threatens to drown you, perhaps you should consider making good on your word and actually prevent identity theft.


-Jeremy Duffy Awareness Advocate

P.S. If you don't know what credit freezes are, click here.

So there you have it. What are the odds that he'll actually respond? We shall see…

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