As if the actual hacking of the records from the S.C. Department of Revenue was not enough, up pops a greedy attorney wanting to stick the taxpayers of this state with further expenses that are neither helpful nor beneficial to anyone.
Although it has been reported that many state and federal departments and agencies throughout the country do not encrypt their data mainly because it is not cost effective we now see that this perception of this protection is highly erroneous. We are told that the state negotiated the one-year fraud alert coverage for each S.C. individual that filed a tax return since 1999 for the total sum of $12 million. I am not that well versed in the costs of this sort of technology although I imagine that the encryption protection would have cost far less than paying Experian $12 million.
And we are told that this protection from Experian is free. Who is kidding who? It’s all our tax dollars that are going towards this expense and although it is being disbursed from a general fund it is still tax dollars that could, and should, be going to pay for something more beneficial to S.C. residents.
Then Mr. Greedy, John Hawkins, has decided to sue the state so he can get a nice, big fat contingency check. He claims that people have had their lives ruined though it has not occurred as yet and is ready to have the state waste many more hundreds of thousands (maybe millions) in defense of this senseless lawsuit. Even if he prevails, the costs to the residents of S.C. is mind-boggling. Our tax dollars would go towards defending the action, towards paying any award and become a reduction of tax funds available for our state’s expenses, programs, education, etc. In a sense we would be suing ourselves.
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The lawsuit is ludicrous at best and should be immediately squashed by the S.C. courts if for no other reason than being detrimental to the public welfare. A more meaningful approach would be for the state to establish a department (agency) that would take immediate steps to clear-up any identity theft issues as soon as they are reported.
The residents of this state deserve more in connection with this matter than one year’s worth of fraud protection. They deserve to be assisted in any way possible to rectify any theft issues that occur. Tax money spent on an action such as this would make far more sense than wasting it defending (and possibly paying) a lawsuit.
The writer lives in Garden City Beach.