US Passport Agency contractors harvested Americans' data for identity theft


I’m all for fighting government waste.

But it is NOT a waste to provide sufficient compensation to employees that they feel invested in maintaining the honor and integrity of the agency.

Of course, this presumes that what the agency is doing is actually honorable…

You’re entirely right, but some years back I worked for the IRS, and the paycheck wasn’t too shabby. It didn’t make me a rich man, but I didn’t have trouble putting food on the table. I know Federal wages have been frozen since forever, but still.

Some people will steal even after they have enough. They usually end up being highly successful and not behind bars.


I don’t know how these people were compensated, but I also bet that it wouldn’t matter. Class wars aside, the world is still full of opportunists.

That’s not an argument against fair compensation. I support fair compensation for human beings. I just suspect that’s a separate issue from the opportunism here.

I also suspect that the women’s contractor status is irrelevant. Federal employees are just as likely to be involved in this type of activity.

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With regards to a passport application, I can’t think of anything on the form that could be excluded for the purposes of ID verification. Nor do I see a problem with the State Dept. retaining information on issued passports.

With you on the contractors, though.

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Left out that contractors often make a WHOLE lot more than federal employees, and that the federal employees union does NOT represent the (usually far more numerous) contractors, and cannot negotiate terms on their behalf. Nor that the federal employees and contractors are treated quite differently from one another - not only in practice, but under the law.

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There is no excuse for theft, especially at a job where you are responsible for private information. By accepting the job, you accept the responsibilities at the pay you were offered.
In no way is an employer expected to pay compensation so their employees don’t steal. Theft is illegal in any form, and if the employee demanded that compensation, that is called extortion.
The government is responsible for keeping many things private or secret, and they are having a bad time doing it. We are being very critical about their practices, and we definitely should demand changes. But, trying to excuse identity theft on the ground that they aren’t paying well, or the government does it anyway is complete bullshit failed logic.


Whoa, now. Demanding that people have integrity?! You’ve gone too far!

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You’re making sense.

So these appear to be actual crimes and well documented at that - any chance of a consequence?

Agreed, but for most humans impulse and emotion frequently overpower logic, obedience and training. Threat of punishment does not always work against impulse and emotion. A better way may be to remove, or at least reduce, temptation to begin with.

Would you rather spend money to try/convict/imprison people after the crime, or to eliminate possible motivations for crime before it happens? Which do you think is cheaper, in the long run?

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Surely this will convince the American financial industry to stop using basic personal identifiers as authenticators.

Or they could just keep reaping the huge profits of trivial-to-open credit accounts, while shifting the costs of fraud to others (including re-branding bank-fraud as “identity theft”, cleverly turning their problem into your problem).

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