As a private investigator based in Springfield, Missouri, Derrick Marshall spends a lot of time listening to the police scanner app on his phone. In February, while working on an unrelated case, Marshall listened as a Springfield police officer called into dispatch to report a suspect who lacked ID.
Over the police scanner Marshall heard the officer rattle off a string of nine digits. It was the suspect’s social security number.
That breach wasn’t the only time police have broadcast such personal information for all to hear. Over the next few months, Marshall’s research found at least ten instances where social security numbers were broadcast, along with critical personal information.