I find it ridiculous that so many companies demand to know people's Social Security numbers before providing service ("Laptop Theft Puts Customer Data At Risk," March 29, 2004). I called the Social Security agency about that issue and was told that it's legal. This means that if I want electricity, I must provide my Social Security number. I can't go to another electric company, and I cannot pay my bill in advance. There's no other option.
Chapel Hill, N.C.
Thanks for the article on Jerry McElhatton of MasterCard International ("Telling It Like It Is," March 29, 2004). I saved a copy for future inspiration when pursuing IT upgrades for my company, and I passed the original on to a co-worker who's enrolled in an ITstrategy course for her MBA program.
Accounting Manager, Dayton Aerospace, Dayton, Ohio
Federal Law Needed
The security of our personal information is in serious doubt ("Prove It's Secure," March 15, 2004). We have no control over the countless databases that contain our financial and personal DNA.
I support the Arizona legislative proposal that will require companies to obtain written permission from customers before sending financial data offshore, but legislation also must be enacted at the federal level requiring all companies that outsource patient or customer data to any third party to divulge the country, company, and address.
Any group attempting to do us harm will be able to do it from the comfort of their own laptops.
Compliance Engineer, NEC Infrontia, Shelton, Conn.
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What The Business Really Thinks Of IT: 3 Hard TruthsThey say perception is reality. If so, many in-house IT departments have reason to worry. InformationWeek's IT Perception Survey seeks to quantify how IT thinks it's doing versus how the business views IT's performance in delivering services - and, more important, powering innovation. The news isn't great.