Thursday, April 19, 2012

My Other Self

I generally use this space to talk about writing. But as many of you know, my day job is as an infosec pro for a major bank. Occasionally, I come across something interesting in the world of cyber- (or not cyber-) crime.

Here is an example of the latter. The italics are mine.

ABA-Backed Bill Introduced to Repeal Outdated ATM Disclosure
House Financial Services Committee members Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) and David Scott (D-Ga.) on Tuesday introduced an ABA-supported bill (H.R. 4367) that would protect banks from frivolous lawsuits by repealing the outdated requirement that a placard must be attached to ATMs stating that a fee may be charged.

The placard disclosure is duplicative because the actual fee also appears on the ATM video monitor before the transaction is completed. But if the placard isn’t attached, Regulation E (Electronic Funds Transfer Act) permits successful class-action plaintiffs to recover the lesser of $500,000 or 1 percent of the ATM operator's net worth plus attorneys’ fees and costs.

As a result, some people have removed placards, photographed ATMs without them and filed lawsuits. In a February letter, ABA and six other trade groups asked the House Financial Services and Senate Banking Committees to pass a bill repealing the placard requirement because such lawsuits were growing precipitously and could reduce both the number of ATMs and consumer convenience.

While I don't condone criminal activity--in fact, it's part of my job to prevent it--I have to admit that there is a certain amount of clever malfeasance behind this scam.

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