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Charities Commission promotes identity theft

Sandra Goudie MP
National Party Internal Affairs Spokeswoman

8 July 2008

Charities Commission promotes identity theft

The discovery of personal signatures on the Charities Commission website is an unacceptable invitation to identity theft and should be stopped immediately, says National’s Internal Affairs spokeswoman, Sandra Goudie.

“Individuals have been shocked to find that their signatures have not been removed from application forms that have been scanned and posted on the Charities Commission site.

“Internal Affairs Minister Rick Barker can’t make up his mind – first he makes a fuss about withholding births, deaths, and marriages information because of the risk of identity fraud, and then he allows legitimate signatures, with names and addresses, to be published for all to see on the Charities website.

“The Privacy Commissioner has even weighed in, appalled at the security risk. Marie Shroff says signatures posted online should be obscured, suppressed or pixelated.

"I understand that one of the people who found his signature posted online for all to see and complained, was a doctor. Even the Charities Commission must realise what a huge risk this poses to this person.

“What is worse is that anyone can do a search of the Charities register, look for a name, and then simply download a pdf file of that person’s signature.

“The Minister can’t have a buck both ways on this. Either identity fraud is a real risk or it is not.

“At the very least he should instruct the Charities Commission to respond to the concerns of the people who have contacted them and remove or obscure their signatures immediately.”


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