Saturday, October 07, 2006

More 'Angry from Manchester'

Mr Jerry Toher
Managing Director, MINT
c/o The Royal Bank of Scotland PLC
36 St Andrew Square

Dear Mr Toher

Over the last few weeks, I have received several pieces of unsolicited mail from MINT written in your name. One of them invites me to take out insurance with you against identity theft. The other two give me other offers/information and both quote eight of the sixteen digits which make up my credit card number.

I was quite surprised to note that in each letter they are alternate sets of eight digits; in one letter it is the middle eight that are obscured and, in the other, the middle eight are the visible digits. This does not seem consistent with a company that claims to be concerned with helping its customers avoid identity theft!

I have long been irritated that the credit card industry as a whole cannot agree on which groups of digits to obscure when quoting my card number, meaning I have to shred everything with even a partial reference, but I am amazed that within one company you don’t have a standard way of obscuring card numbers in correspondence. To me this suggests that your concern for the protection of my identity is, at best, ill thought-through and, at worst, merely lip service!

Can I ask that you insist your security team agree with the whole business which digits of credit card numbers should be obscured when writing to your customers, so that there is no chance of combining different pieces of your junk mail to reveal an entire number?

Yours sincerely...

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