I would feel much more comfortable relying on fact rather than speculation. Of all the names occuring in the authority file, how many of these persons have been the object of identity theft BECAUSE OF the information that someone found in the authority file? The criminal element (not that I so familiar with them individulally, of course) has been know to target the dead as well. Does that mean that we should go back and remove information on Mark Twain, too?
From any random scan of personal name headings, one is struck more frequently by the absence rather than the presence of birth dates and other such information. So we really aren't talking about the major of name headings created in the first place ... but rather the minority.
As for including the info based on the vita, anyone with access to the author's dissertation can get that data. Our institution makes all of our Ph. D. dissertations available full-text online from any workstation in the university. In other words, the criminal element has ample open access to the data without any mediation or facilitation on our part.
Yes, I agree, it's a possibility. However, think of the SSDI ... All of these "marks" are dead and can't come back to complain. Having that whole database out there for G** and all creation would seem a much more attractive target ... that is, if I had a criminal bent.
On Sun, Oct 24, 2010 at 1:04 PM, Lasater, Mary Charles <[log in to unmask]>
I agree with you. However few of our students include a vita so I feel more concern/responsibility since I have to request dates from our Registrar.
From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]
] On Behalf Of Daniel CannCasciato
Sent: Sunday, October 24, 2010 11:13 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [PCCLIST] Theses name headings and privacy concerns
As with Sherman Clarke, recording this information has not bothered me,
either. However, as Liz Miller points out, it could be used for ID
theft, as could all the information we record. Since the students are
placing this information in their vita (sometime online and publicly
accessible) then it would appear we are not increasing their
vulnerability, but the info we record is widely available via LC
Authorities and is consolidated there in numerous records.
My first reactions are that I think that in the future I will refrain
from including details that are not needed to break a conflict: for
example, place of birth. Birth date (routinely we only include year, or
month/day/year) is usually going to be enough. I think the maiden name
is something I'll generally omit as well. If the student hasn't
published under that name by the time of the thesis, then she (or he)
probably will not. Name changes will occur for some of them, sure, but
the effect in our work would be minimal I think and is a small problem
that we encounter occasionally anyway.
It's an interesting question. It seems the exposure or risk is very
small, but being pro-active for our patrons required, and it is also
very little work once a policy decision is made.
Head of Cataloging
Central Washington University Brooks Library
*Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way
through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion
that democracy means that my ignorance is just as good as your
- - Isaac Asimov
Richard C. Amelung, Ph. D.
Professor of Legal Research
Saint Louis University Law Library