TrustedID launches online personal information check, but will it help or hurt criminals?

TrustedID today launched a new service allowing consumers to check if their personal information has been stolen or compromised by criminals.

Called StolenID Search, the free service allows anyone with internet access to search a database of more than two million entries, including credit card details, found to be used by criminals in online fraud.

To run a search, the consumer must input his or her personal data to check it against the information stored in the database. The search will return a "found" or "not found" response and individuals who receive notification of a match will be instructed on how to take the appropriate next steps.

"The knowledge that your information has been compromised can be critically important in preventing identity theft," said Scott Mitic, CEO and founder of TrustedID. "The key is to find out about the compromise before the information is used to perpetrate a crime. Often, individuals are not even aware that their information has been breached, or that the breach may be ongoing."

However, security analysts have criticized the service, claiming by making it accessible to anyone it could actually assist criminal activity.

"They can make a terrible problem worse if they freely disseminate information to anyone who asks for it without properly vetting the requestor’s identity," Gartner analyst Avivah Litan warned.

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