May Contain Blueberries

the sometimes journal of Jeremy Beker

Security no match for theater lovers

“Claire Sellick approached a woman in London’s tony theater district with a clipboard and a chance to win tickets to an upcoming show. All the woman had to do was answer a three-minute survey on locals’ theater-going habits. Or so she thought.

The first question was easy. ‘What’s your name?’ Next came questions about her attitude towards the theater, with more personal inquiries interjected now and then. For instance, the survey company needed the woman’s date of birth (to prove she was legally able to win the seats) and her mother’s maiden name (for later verification) and her address, of course, to mail the tickets if she won the drawing. What about a phone number? Her pet’s name? The name of the first school she attended?

At some point, the woman began connecting the dots. ‘I work for a bank and this information could be used to open a bank account.’

‘Yes,’ Sellick responded.

The event director for the Infosecurity Europe trade show recalled with incredulity what happened next. ‘She then proceeded to give me all her details!’”