Nov 052009
 November 5, 2009  Posted by  Breaches, Court, Surveillance, U.S.

In a case that has been going on since last year,  the Associated Press reports that

The Colorado Supreme Court is hearing arguments about the legality of an identity theft investigation against hundreds of suspected illegal immigrants who were filing taxes, without having valid Social Security numbers.

AP’s summary of the issue, however, is not how I see/read the case. I think that the issue is that the county authorities, because they had a complaint from one individual who thought he might be the victim of ID theft, swept in and scooped up thousands of individuals’ records from a tax preparer’s office, even though there was no reason to suspect that many of them were illegal aliens or using a false Social Security number and even though the tax preparer was not the target of the investigation. So how far can you go? Can you scoop up everything, including thousands of uninvolved or innocent people’s tax records just because one or even hundreds of people may be engaging in some illegal activity?

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