The market price for your financial information

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Terence Spies pointed me to this article on a Wachovia/BofA security breach:
"We are getting calls from those who are concerned, which is understandable," she said. "When we tell them what we are doing, they are relieved."

Zisa has said Orazio Lembo Jr., 35, of Hackensack, made millions of dollars through the scheme but spent most of it on a fast-paced lifestyle.

Authorities discovered the plot after they executed a search warrant at Lembo's apartment in February as part of a separate investigation. They seized 13 computers which contained details about the plan, Zisa said.

Lembo received lists of people sought for debt collection and turned that information over to the seven bank workers, who would compare those names to their client lists. The bank workers were paid $10 for each account they turned over to Lembo, Zisa said.

This kind of thing is already old news, but this is the first time I've actually seen the price per account listed: $10. Of course, in a competitive market, the price of a commodity quickly declines to the marginal cost of production....

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My suspicion is that the guy was not acting as a database creator, but an intermediary, getting employees to perform searches, given the rather tedious and relatively expensive price of the data.

It seems to me that a $100K bribe to a computer geek in the bank would be far more cost effective, IF the goal was a general databased rather than directed searches.

Actually, if you read the articles, the folks in the trenches got $3 a record. $10 was what execs charged Lembo. (See for a bunch of links.)

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