Posted in Finances

I Am, It's Your Data! - By L.Burke Files

President of Financial Examinations & Evaluations, Inc.
Yes it’s your data.   Your data, the information on you that you think is private, but guess what? It is not.  Your data has been hacked, sorted, parsed, disassembled, reassembled, all in the name of targeting you for the correct advertising, the proper car insurance rates, health insurance rates, and it even impacts your ability to get a job or even keep a job.  Has all of this information been gathered - and mind you that includes you social security number, you date of birth, your health information, your financial information, and even where you bank and save - but it is not even secure.
I am not an alarmist by nature and this is not meant to be an alarming article.  The facts are alarming enough.  It is a wake up call that it is worse than you think.
Please visit and just scroll through the names of the government bodies and private enterprises that have lost YOUR DATA to the unknown world.  In May of 2013 hundreds of thousands of social security numbers and bank accounts were compromised by those institutions that are there to support us - such as governments, and those who are selling us goods and services such as merchants and telephone companies.
It is not just identity theft that we need to be concerned with, which is the last decade’s scourge and continues on like a zombie, my concern is the full-scale loss of private information. It is beyond driver’s license or credit card information.  With the databases commercially available to me, your humble financial investigator, I can look back 20 or more years into your history of public records. I can find your shopping and preference patterns, club memberships, affinity clubs - like the ones we use when we grocery shop, and develop a very comprehensive background on you from data you have shared and/or have lost control of.  Taking this a step further, insurance companies have full medial histories on you and full accident histories. This information is shared with central databases and now all of the insurance companies know where you have been and what you have been doing.  And this is all legitimate gathering, sharing and reselling of your information.
Now, compound this with the utter total and complete loss of records to hackers, either criminal or government (who’s government does not matter), or the disgruntled clerk in a law firm or a bank taking all of the records and selling them to the highest bidder. George Orwell had a trend in mind when he wrote 1986 - but he had no idea how right he was, as it is not just big brother, but big business and big crime that have your records. So at the end of the day what’s left of the joke that has been made of the concept of privacy?
The last pathetic twist is that most of the legitimate data aggregators stink at keeping your records attached to just you.  If you have a common name, or there are juniors and seniors in your family with the same name, odds are that you have records from them and many others on your record.  I have had a problem with that. My wife’s name and mine are similar - same initials - and we have been together a long time.  So the “computer logic” has chosen to erase all of my records and now my wife is accused of having two names and two dates of birth.  It is a funny situation when we are refinancing a house or getting a security clearance - NOT, but we are prepared for the idiot records to surface.  In reality if we were just starting out - she would have a very hard time getting hired and working where she works.  Can you imagine a quick database report pulled by human resources showing my wife to be using two names and two dates of birth; she would consider a “high risk for fraud.” This is actually a quote on the credit report. She would have never made it through the first cull of applicants at her current employer, and she would never know why. Now, it is fun being a financial investigator with no records - as many I assume would think I have engineered this through some form of chicanery.  Yes, some I have engineered, per steps from the book described below, and some was all the work of the “computer logic” behind the databases. For me, I took the matter of my records proactively to the credit bureaus, my bank, and my wife’s employer. The banks and my wife’s employer all had a good laugh; the credit bureaus resolved the matter only after the threat of litigation.
Mark Nestmann, in his book the Life Boat Strategy, now in the 4th edition, sets forth the concept in some real concrete steps. But more importantly he sets forth the concept - privacy is not the default setting on the records of our lives.  The default setting on privacy is open.  We, as individuals, must intervene regularly and often actively plan and intervene to reset the option on our records to private.  I have read all four editions of Nestmann’s Life Boat Strategy and in each edition I am stunned as to how much more information is being harvested and how much harder it is to engineer privacy for one’s self and one’s family.  
Do you know what is on your database reports?  Do you know how it may affect your life?  Take this warning to heart. Privacy is for sale and there are many willing buyers for your information. Act now and secure what is yours.



Mr. Files is a published author of five books, in particular "Due Diligence for the Financial Professional, 2nd edition 2010" and "Money and Budgets" other writing and material can be found at .  Mr. Files is an international speaker on these topics.


FE&E, Inc. is an international investigative firm specializing in, fraud prevention, asset recovery, due diligence, anti money laundering and intellectual property.


As a financial industry insider for over 30 years he is keenly aware of the type, and accuracy of the information required to make decisions. Mr. Files has been the case manager on fraud investigations ranging from tens of thousands of dollars to over 3 billion.   As an international expert on due diligence and Intellectual Property and Critical Information (IPCI) he is regularly sought for those cases that bedevil the desktop practitioners.

This article is courtesy of the Top 1% Club and the Top 1% Club Mentor Gail Kasper. For additional information on Gail Kasper, her television appearances and speaking engagements, please visit