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They can also be edited and re edited to inaccurately represent the individual and the individual’s actions and presence in a variety of locations. This data along with that provided by public records or anything that an individual has listed for any purpose online is also collected by pay for information
sites. These sites then summarize the information obtained and provide reports with the resulting details which may or may not be accurate for use to individuals who may be checking
on people they date, potential roommates and to determine is possible sexual offenders may live nearby. While the public is made aware of the use of their personal data for legitimate and abusive purposes, it does not stop people from continuing to enter personal information in online forms and to publicly share information about themselves and others. Although this information may lead to increased convenience such as through targeted ads and local search results, public sharing has led to such long lasting abuses as identity theft. Identity theft involves the false assumption of another individuals identity through use of the their readily available personal information in order to gain access to bank accounts, credit cards and other financial information usually for financial benefit. Some people whose identity has been stolen have become bankrupt, had criminal charges made against them, and the victim hours spent in repairing the damage from the theft as well as the inability to clear negative records have resulted in additional long term distress and other negative outcomes. What does the future hold?Consider the government approved group that hacks computers, the Tailored Access Operations group TAO inside the NSA. What we know is that the TAO gains access to computers remotely, using programs with fabulous secret names like QUANTUMINSERT and FOXACID. We also know that TAO has created specialized software to hack into all manner of electronic information devices including computers, routers, servers and smartphones, and that its agents often install data collection implants into this type of equipment by intercepting its signals and infecting it while in transit. It has been estimated that TAO has successfully hacked into, and is currently extracting information from, over 80,000 computers worldwide.