Oct 102010
 October 10, 2010  Posted by  Business

Food for thought:

Hot on the heels of our last post on Bernard Madoff, we’ve decided to add a post from a law student who write this article a few months back.The general premise revolves around a new kind of ponzi scheme–one that involves not money as a currency of value, but information. Continue on for an interesting read:


A few nights ago, I stumbled across a website that urged me to create new account in its membership system. The site (which we shall call “INFOPONZI”, proposed a new universal investment currency, one unhindered by current fluctuations in market capital, recessions, or disaster. INFOPONZI proposed a free trade system without regulations so that users who signed up would be able to invest, trade or spend money freely. New INFOPONZI members would receive $500,000 dollars instantly in their account, without hidden fees or charges, credit checks, or taxes. They would achieve financial freedom, all for free.

Once I clicked on the “register now” link, I realized what this site was actually all about: my personal information. As with many other signups, INFOPONZI wanted my full name, date of birth, address, email, mobile number, and password. The additional steps of CAPTCHA entry and SMS confirmation assuage any fears for INFOPONZI that the data they collect could be falsified; by asking for mobile text confirmation, they are sure to be signing up real people. Their privacy policy, affirmed my instincts that the personal information I might provide them would likely be shared with third party advertisers when it stated that “[o]ur partners may send you promotional material ad we may also use your IP address internally and share it with third parties.” INFOPONZI, for all intents and purposes, proposed to take my personal information and potentially sell it or share it for profit.

Read more on LawRiot.

Via @PrivacySecurity

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