I recently had a conversation with a mortgage broker that was not aware of the importance of security is to client transactions other than a vague awareness of the risk of identity theft. There are numerous business sectors that simply do not understand their responsibilities and liability when it comes to protecting their clients' personal information. Chief among them are mortgage and legal professionals.
A mortgage broker charged with improperly disposing of consumers' personal financial records has paid a $35,000 settlement to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Gregory Navone, of Las Vegas, disposed of about 40 boxes of sensitive consumer records in a public dumpster, according to the December 2008 FTC complaint. The records included tax returns, mortgage applications, bank statements, photocopies of credit cards and drivers' licenses and at least 230 credit reports. The settlement also requires Navone to employ an information security program for sensitive consumer information, and to hire an independent, third-party security professional to conduct compliance audits annually for the next 10 years.