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Identity Resolution Daily Links 2008-3-31

Monday, March 31st, 2008

Department of Homeland Security: Homeland Security and State Departments Announce WHTI Land and Sea Final Rule

“The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Department of State (DOS) announced today the final rule for the land and sea portion of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), a core 9/11 Commission recommendation. The WHTI final rule requires travelers to present a passport or other approved secure document denoting citizenship and identity for all land and sea travel into the United States.”

Retail Solutions Online: Real-Time Loss Prevention: Changing The Game In Fraud

“Aberdeen selected three key performance criteria to distinguish Best-in-Class companies from industry Average and Laggards that are frequently measured within the retail industry. . . . In addition to the specific recommendations in Chapter 3 of this report to achieve Best-in-Class performance, companies must:

  • Impliment Business Intelligence(BI) tools and predictive analytics to measure, analyze, and report theft and fraud data trends;
  • Improve the focus on cash asset protection and access control systems to prevent internal theft incidence”

Evolution of Security: Checkpoint Changes Coming

“Technology is a wonderful thing but it’s not an overnight process - it must be invented, funded, built, tested, bought, and deployed.”

Identity Resolution Daily Links 2008-3-28

Friday, March 28th, 2008

Department of Homeland Security: DHS Begins Collecting 10 Fingerprints from International Visitors at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport

“’Quite simply, this change gives our officers a more accurate idea of who is in front of them. For legitimate visitors, the process becomes more efficient and their identities are better protected from theft. For those who may pose a risk, we will have greater insight into who they are,’ added Paul Morris, Executive Director of Admissibility and Passenger Programs, Office of Field Operations, CBP.”

Data Governance and Data Quality Insider: Mergers and Acquisitions: Data’s Influence on Company Value

“In my work with Trillium Software, I have talked to customers who have saved millions in acquisition costs by evaluating the data prior to buying a company. Some have gone so far as evaluation of the overlap between their own customer base and the new customer base to determine value. Why pay for a customer when (s)he is already on the customer list?”

Exchange Morning Post: To Mark Fraud Prevention Month, NCR Adds Two More Security Inks to Its Sales Receipt Paper Roll Line

“Many stores have flexible or ‘no hassle’ return policies which the criminals may exploit by using sophisticated technology to copy and print seemingly authentic-looking counterfeit receipts. The thieves then steal items from the retailer and later return the shoplifted goods along with a fraudulent receipt to the retailer’s customer service centre for a ‘refund’.”

Worcester Telegram & Gazette News: Fraud busters - Competition will turn up the heat on scammers

“The state in 1991 established an insurer-supported Insurance Fraud Bureau, which discouraged the worst abuses. However, it was not until a Lawrence grandmother died in a staged auto ‘accident’ in 1993 that the public became aware of the extent of the fraud — in many cases perpetrated by enterprising scammers working in cahoots with crooked chiropractors.”

b-eye.com - Business Intelligence Network: Deploying the Integrated Customer Database: A Case Study

“The demand for integrated information has created a vendor response that has spawned a market for what many call customer data integration (CDI) or master data management (MDM). . . . The vendors offering customer relationship management (CRM) tools, CDI or MDM capabilities usually focus on facilitating and accelerating data movement from one or more databases or files to another using extract, transform and load (ETL), messaging (message queues), and other capabilities. How are these ’solutions’ meeting the customers’ expectations? In a previous article, I mentioned that data movement increases costs (adds more complexity to the information management environment), information float or delays (whether batch or messaging), reduces semantic value (much semantic value is casted in the context of the existing applications), and significantly increases the opportunity for introducing information defects. Customers are realizing that these ’solutions’ are more focused on attacking the symptoms (e.g., moving data around faster) instead of attacking the root cause (e.g., keeping the information integrated in one place in the first place).”

Identity Resolution Daily Links 2008-3-26

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

HometownAnnapolis.com: County police battle rising tide of thefts - Anti-shoplifting programs have been implemented

“Faced with an 11 percent countywide spike in thefts last year, county police officers are trying new techniques to stop thieves and shoplifters in north and west county. . . . County police are analyzing data collected to glean details about hot spots, repeat offenders and high-theft items, said Sgt. John Gilmer, a county police department spokesman.”

CarInsurance.com:Lawsuit Accuses Trio in LV

“Shelley Beeler, a spokeswoman for Allstate’s southwest region, which includes Nevada, said the estimate of fraudulent payments is unknown but is believed to be in excess of $75,000. The case and others like it are brought by the company when evidence of fraud is uncovered, she said. . . . Beeler said fraud can add hundreds of dollars each year to the cost of a consumer’s auto insurance policy. The company has a special investigations unit that continually looks for evidence of fraudulent activity, she said.”

ars technica: Analysis: the Obama/Hillary passport breaches and Real ID [Update: McCain too]

“Presidential hopefuls Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are currently providing the country with a very public lesson in why the ‘privacy advocates’ who oppose initiatives like Real ID and the executive branch’s domestic surveillance programs should really be called ‘democracy advocates.’ In short, only a full investigation will determine whether Executive Branch contractors had political ends in mind when they inappropriately accessed the passport records of Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton on multiple occasions, but the entire incident shows exactly why citizens’ privacy is critical in a country where citizens compete with one another for control of the government.”

b-eye.com - Business Intelligence Network: The Role of Business Intelligence in Managing Compliance

“Healthcare and biopharma organizations are flush with data. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could instead say that these organizations are flush with information or flush with insights? Certainly these organizations are built upon the back of innovation, but it’s probably safe to say that on the whole their data is, well, a mess. Sure, it’s fine in most areas, but then most areas are isolated from one another – which ensures that identifying and merging diverse data sources will generally be challenging. This makes it difficult to glean insightful information from across the whole of the enterprise’s data. So what can be done?”

advertising practitioner: non-obvious, surprise, reality

“There’s a guy in Las Vegas who builds computer systems and trains them in Non-Obvious Relationship Awareness. The casinos there are regular targets for fraudsters and tricksters, often colluding with employees, hoping to sneak themselves some undetected winnings under cover of the mass of gaming transactions that happen every minute. So these systems have to act incredibly quickly; matching information from employee databases with known lists of bad guys, arrest records, customer information, credit reports and all sorts of publicly available data. They’re looking for non-obvious relationships - like the fact that the guy who’s winning lots of cash on table fourteen shares a cellphone number with the dealer on the adjacent table.”

Identity Resolution Daily Links 2008-3-24

Monday, March 24th, 2008

silive.com: Shoplifters turn to the Internet for easy cash

“LaRocca, the National Retail Federation official, said the amount of cash stores recover from civil actions is minimal compared to the costs to protect their goods. So, it’s no surprise merchants want to get back whatever they believe they are entitled to. ‘Retailers should have a right to collect the damages from people stealing from their stores,’ he said. ‘As a consumer, you and I pay for these losses in prices charged in retail stores.’”

The Monitor: Allstate alleges fraud at Valley chiropractic clinics

“One of the nation’s top insurers has sued a group of Rio Grande Valley chiropractic clinics and lawyers over their alleged involvement in a multimillion-dollar fraud ring. . . . ‘Individuals who conduct fraud generally do so because they think that they are digging into the deep pockets of a big insurance company,’ Mellander said. ‘But the reality is they’re not. They’re stealing from you and me.’”

Fraud, Phishing and Financial Misdeeds: OCCRP reports on Eastern European/Eurasian organized crime

“Eastern European/Eurasian organized groups seem to have their hands in a wide variety of organized criminal activity. They are often mentioned when referring to anything from auction fraud to payment (credit/debit) card skimming and computer crimes.”

Homeland Security Watch: REAL ID Showdown Averted?

“DHS granted an extension on Friday to the state of Montana so that it can comply with the REAL ID Act. The only thing is that Montana never asked for an extension. Montana governor Brian Schweitzer made news over his intention to defy the law passed by Congress in 2005. Schweitzer is leading a charge (joined by Maine, South Carolina, New Hampshire, and Oklahoma) to oppose the REAL ID Act and any efforts by DHS to impose penalties for non-compliance.”

RetailWire: Theft Hits Retail in the Bottom Line

“The risk of retail theft has only grown with the introduction of higher priced items in categories such as smoking cessation, OTC analgesics and allergy, electronics, razors, cosmetics and perfumes. The percentage product loss between manufacture and point of sale, or shrinkage, is about two percent of sales and higher. While that may sound low, it means the loss of $31 billion due to theft. What can retailers and manufacturers do to address retail theft?”

Identity Resolution Daily Links 2008-3-21

Friday, March 21st, 2008

[Post from Infoglide Software] Evolving Beyond Similarity Searching and Identity Resolution

“Matching names and other identifying information to present a clearer picture of reality is a core goal of advanced government initiatives like DHS’s SecureFlight program. By knowing who someone is and who they’re related to, agencies can participate in social and business transactions with heightened confidence and efficiency. For example, in terrorist screening, it’s helpful not only to know who the person really is but also whom they know. As Jeff Jonas points out, there were connections between all 19 of the terrorists in the 9/11 attack. But because the bad guys keep getting smarter, the technology and processes to identify them have to keep getting better.”

The State Journal: Fraud Stoppers

“To many people, insurance fraud may seem to be victimless crime if a crime at all. . . . But law enforcement experts and insurance experts say nothing could be further from the truth. In this ‘victimless crime,’ everyone is a victim, they say. ‘Insurance fraud costs every homeowner in West Virginia $300 per year through higher premiums,’ said Vickie Neal, regional director of the National Insurance Crime Bureau, a nationwide nonprofit organization that partners with law enforcement to detect and prosecute insurance fraud. . . . ‘Some of the cases with agents we have to go through months and months of books,’ Cline said. ‘To mine that information and put that data in a form that we can take to prosecutors takes a lot of time and work.’”

Loss Prevention: Leading Retail’s Response to ORC - An Interview With Brad Brekke

“ORC (organized retail crime) is hard to identify and understand if you do not step back, investigate, analyze, and look at data from a broad perspective. Much retail crime occurs at the store level, but ORC occurs across a much broader base than one store. Moving away from theft in the store, there is a lot of selling of stolen goods, including traditional fencing of goods and e-fencing on Internet auction sites. . . . You need data to frame your position because businesses make decisions based on data. Finding it can be difficult, but there is more data available today than there ever was. It is also important to partner either with other retailers through the trade organizations or with law enforcement to bring the data together to determine if it is a big enough problem to assign resources to and, if so, what are the right resources. . . . From what we have seen from our own internal data and from external data, ORC is a serious problem.”

PogoWasRight.org: Second National Fusion Center Conference Held to Foster Greater Collaboration

“More than 900 federal, state, and local law enforcement and homeland security officials attended this week the National Fusion Center Conference here to further the U.S. government’s plans to create a seamless network of these centers.”

Evolution of Security: Update: Bob Screens the Apple MacBook Air

“We were able to get our hands on a MacBook Air and run it through the X-ray in our lab. My suspicions were correct. The MacBook does look completely different than your typical laptop or DVD player.”

TechTarget: DAMA keynote: Survival of the data management fittest

“Blechar laid out a number of best practices data management professionals should embrace to meet the changing information architecture landscape. . . . Adopt master data management (MDM) to further data reuse. Business users want agility, Blechar said, ‘which means when you want to reuse the data, it’s there in a way you can consume it.’ MDM is especially important for federating operational data in real time, he said.”

Evolving Beyond Similarity Searching and Identity Resolution

Wednesday, March 19th, 2008

By Robert Barker, Infoglide Senior Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer/Acting Chief Technology Officer

Matching names and other identifying information to present a clearer picture of reality is a core goal of advanced government initiatives like DHS’s SecureFlight program. By knowing who someone is and who they’re related to, agencies can participate in social and business transactions with heightened confidence and efficiency. For example, in terrorist screening, it’s helpful not only to know who the person really is but also whom they know. As Jeff Jonas points out, there were connections between all 19 of the terrorists in the 9/11 attack. But because the bad guys keep getting smarter, the technology and processes to identify them have to keep getting better.

While addressing certain challenges in early IT systems involved simple exact matching, the need for more sophisticated means of comparing and resolving similar information led to the evolution of similarity matching. Companies like Identity Systems and others created technologies that analyze similar attributes of specific entities (e.g., people, products, cargo containers) to determine if they are the same entity or perhaps are related. In more recent times, other companies like Infoglide Software and SRD (now part of IBM EAS) not only developed their own versions of entity analytics but encapsulated them in new software layers to automate decision-making and rules processing. Integration facilities were also added to enable incorporation of this analytic framework into existing business process environments. These more complete solutions define a new area of operational business intelligence called “identity resolution” or, as Gartner calls it, “entity resolution and analysis.”

Identity resolution is continuing to evolve toward master identity management (MIM), which adds the ability to apply, update, reuse, and retain resolved identities. Saving contextual details and annotating identities with incremental information about resolved identities preserves history and enables information sharing and collaboration. During cleansing and normalization within traditional master data management (MDM), data may be removed that either is valuable or may become valuable in the future. One of our previous posts explored this issue with regard to data integration technologies. MIM provides a single view of an identity without the need to actually combine and destroy data, so that as new information about those identities becomes available, MIM’s active repository can disassociate identities that were once linked.

We’ve seen an evolution from simple matching to similarity matching. As MIM becomes more prevalent, we’ll see how an active repository can enhance the identification resolution process, become the source for new watch lists, and enable implementation of real-time alerting and other monitoring features.

Identity Resolution Daily Links 2008-3-17

Monday, March 17th, 2008

PogoWasRight.org: Dept. of Homeland Security 2008 Data Mining Report

“From their site: ‘This is the third report by the Privacy Office to Congress on data mining.’”

North Country gazette: Insurance Report: Fraud Arrests Up 17%

“The Bureau reported that most insurance fraud cases are now tracked electronically by means of a web-based case management system that became fully operational in 2007. The system allows insurers to electronically transmit suspected fraud reports to the Bureau and allows Bureau personnel to track investigative tasks and events from initial assignment through closure.”

Data Governance and Data Quality Insider: Data Governance in a Recession

“Talk of a recession may slide your plans for big projects like master data management and data governance onto the back burner. Instead, you may be asked to be more tactical – solving problems at a project level rather than an enterprise level. . . . The good news is that times will get better. If and when there is a recession, we most certainly DON’T want to have to rewire and re-do our efforts later on. If you are asked to become more tactical, there are some things to keep in mind that’ll save you strategic frustration:”

ComputerWeekly.com: Speakers at BCS event unravel data privacy issues

“There has always been a need for information sharing within and across enterprises. The aim of the information system, then, should be to provide the right information, to the right person, at the right time. For this to happen, developers should focus on the whole system rather than just the technology.”

Identity Resolution Daily Links 2008-3-14

Friday, March 14th, 2008

[Post from Infoglide Software] Fraud Tax Increase

“We recently featured a link to an article titled ‘You may be paying $400 to $600 a year to offset shoplifting costs’. When we coined the phrase ‘fraud tax’ in a previous post, we estimated the cost of both property and casualty insurance and retail fraud combined to be about $600 per household. . . . Apparently, we may need to adjust our figure if retail theft alone costs as much as $600 per person, as is speculated in the article.”

DataFlux Community of Experts: Is MDM the Same as Data Quality?

“I just reviewed a handful of case studies on master data management, and I had the distinct feeling of deja vu. Many of the MDM programs in the case studies centered (of course) on customer data, and even more pointedly, on the matching and linkage aspects of customer data integration. Considering that five years ago (prior to the creation of the term ‘master data management’), these case studies would have been touted as best practices in data quality.”

Evolution of Security: Apple MacBook Airs are Cleared for Takeoff

“I’ve never taken part in the war between Mac & PC users… I’ve used both and I enjoy using both, but I thought surely the TSA wasn’t diving into the digital trenches and waging war against Apple. I know we’re a versatile agency, but I would have to admit this would definitely be mission creep.”

Public Opinion: Thefts of Oil of Olay, other beauty products, on the rise

“In some cases, the people who are stealing aren’t working alone. An investigation into shoplifting in Polk County, Fla., uncovered a multimillion-dollar theft ring, leading to 18 people being charged in January. According to the Ledger newspaper in Lakeland, Fla., $60 million to $100 million in merchandise was stolen, which was then transported to ‘fences’ who resold the products at flea markets and with online auctions, such as eBay. Police began investigating the theft ring after two of its members were arrested for retail theft. A search on eBay revealed more than 1,100 products for sale, with many of them being sold for prices that are considerably less than retail value.”

ZDNet: How an information system helped nail Eliot Spitzer and a prostitution ring

“On the surface, Spitzer’s downfall is a New York tabloid’s dream. . . . But what really snared Spitzer was a money laundering investigation that was flagged by suspicious activity reports (SARs) that banks have to file with the Treasury to surface everything from money laundering to terrorist activity.”

Fraud Tax Increase

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

We recently featured a link to an article titled “You may be paying $400 to $600 a year to offset shoplifting costs”. When we coined the phrase “fraud tax” in a previous post, we estimated the cost of both property and casualty insurance and retail fraud combined to be about $600 per household.

In fact, we estimate that the cost of insurance fraud (plus retail fraud) adds up to over $600 per year for every American household, a number we like to call the “fraud tax”.

Apparently, we may need to adjust our figure if retail theft alone costs as much as $600 per person, as is speculated in the article.

“There was this fear that the media would uncover our dirty little secrets,” Doyle said. “But now we want the public to know about it, because they’re paying for it. They pay $400 to $600 a year more for merchandise because of retail theft.” The extra money is not just the cost of markups to cover the losses, but also the cost of insurance, electronic tags and in-store cameras. “All of that stuff comes at a price,” Doyle said. “We want the public to be angry about it.”

If Doyle’s estimate reflects the cost per person for adults and children, then the cost of retail fraud would be $2,400 for a family of four (using the high end of Doyle’s range). Add insurance fraud to that, and you’ve got a nice trip to Disneyland.

If you’ve been a regular reader then you know that there’s an existing solution for both retail fraud (including organized retail crime and e-fencing) and insurance claims fraud. If more companies instituted identity (or entity) resolution software, fraud losses could be greatly reduced.

So are you “mad as hell and not going to take this anymore”? Or do you see the fraud tax as just the price of admission so to speak? Leave a comment and let us know.

Identity Resolution Daily Links 2008-3-10

Monday, March 10th, 2008

[Post from Infoglide Software] Mistaken Identity Resolution Part III: Identity Resolution vs. Data Integration

“In this blog, we will pick up our conversation from our Mistaken Identity Resolution series and discuss how identity resolution and data integration are related or unrelated.”

HeraldTribune.com: You may be paying $400 to $600 a year to offset shoplifting costs

“But Dan Doyle, the 50-year-old vice president of loss prevention and human resources for Bradenton-based Bealls Inc., has spent the past few years talking about it — with everyone who would listen: other retailers, law enforcement and even the public. . . . ‘There was this fear that the media would uncover our dirty little secrets,’ Doyle said. ‘But now we want the public to know about it, because they’re paying for it. They pay $400 to $600 a year more for merchandise because of retail theft.’ The extra money is not just the cost of markups to cover the losses, but also the cost of insurance, electronic tags and in-store cameras. ‘All of that stuff comes at a price,’ Doyle said. ‘We want the public to be angry about it.’”

Homeland Security Watch: Where the Candidates Stand on HLS Part III

“To learn about McCain’s views on combating terrorism, you’ll find it among, again not surprisingly, his positions on continuing the Iraq War. The net of all this is that McCain is no slouch when it comes to counterterrorism. Parsing brawn and brains is the tough part. A closer look reveals his campaign’s priorities and perspectives on the mission of securing the homeland, but its an incomplete picture.”

Forbes.com: Retail group to lobby on crime matters

“The National Retail Federation hired Alston & Bird LLP to lobby the federal government on organized retail crime and related consumer protection issues. Retail crime has been a top issue for retail trade groups and their members. The NRF said last year that the problem is getting worse as it released a May 2007 survey showing that more than 75 percent of retailers said they were a victim of crime within the past year.”

PogoWasRight.org: To be anonymous or not to be, that is the privacy question

“‘A total surveillance is not only inevitable and irreversible, but also irresistible,’ Jeff Jonas, distinguished engineer and chief scientist at IBM Entity Analytics, said during a panel on surveillance at a Legal Futures Conference at Stanford on Saturday.”


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