The last few years have featured some of the largest and most potentially damaging data leaks in history, like the Equifax credit breach. But low-income Americans often find themselves trading personal information for access to benefits ranging from food to housing to childcare.
“For low-income people, the stakes [of a data breach] are higher,” said Michele E. Gilman, director of the Saul Ewing Civil Advocacy Clinic at the University of Baltimore, and a former Department of Justice civil rights attorney. She cited examples of former clients whose utilities were shut off after someone opened a false account in their name and failed to pay, or who were picked up on warrants for crimes committed by someone else under their name. For people without money to quickly reinstate a utility service or hire a criminal attorney, those types of errors—even if eventually rectified—can have long-lasting consequences, including job loss or child protective involvement.
Full article: ‘Privacy Is Becoming a Luxury’: What Data Leaks Are Like for the Poor – VICE