Loan data may be retained for decades after loans are paid off, and according to California-based Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, breaches of more than 354 million records of personal data have occurred in the past five years alone. Advocates believe it is "nearly impossible to trace just how much naked loan data is out there and who may have access to it," The Wall Street Journal reports, cautioning, "it should never be assumed that data is deleted." Even when the Federal Trade Commission's Red Flags Rule goes into effect, the problems will remain, the report states, as the digital footprints we leave travel beyond financial institutions to include everything from automotive dealers to medical offices. (Registration may be required to access this story.)
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