Monday, January 07, 2008

Jeremy Clarkson Data Theft

The most famous motoring writer in England, Jeremy Clarkson tends to elicit extreme opinion. To use the old cliché, you either love him or you hate him. For example, his views on the environment are just selfish denialism but his views on health and safety have much insight, like I recall an assertion that we could greatly reduce traffic accidents if all cars had compulsory airbags that were made of titanium spikes.

Today I learned that JC published a very similar article to one of my recent notes, although I presume that he was paid a lot more for his one. We were both extremely sceptical of the furore surrounding the missing bank details. After all, if you want to help anyone to give you money, to avoid paperwork, a simple way to enable this is to give them your bank account number. Passwords and extra security should only be necessary to withdraw from an account.

Unfortunately, according to an unreferenced Autotrader article sent to me today, JC has been stung. He claims that someone set up a direct debit from his account using only the details printed in his newspaper column.

I believe that a part of Clarkson's argument is typical anti-government ignorance: "The bank cannot find out who did this because of the Data Protection Act and they cannot stop it from happening again." That seems hysterical nonsense.

But if the main thrust of the article is true, then I am worried.


Faisal said...

Hysterical nonsense. Celebrities are big targets. Despite his oversized noggin, there's no way JC knows what was exploited to obtain his personal data.

RNB said...

I agreee, that was the point of my notes. I was just quoting JC's ignorance.