Friday, May 23, 2008

LifeLock CEO Still Defends Service

Apparently running hundreds of ads showing off your Social Security Number isn't as bright and idea as originally thought. Todd Davis, CEO of the identity-theft protection service LifeLock, had to learn his lesson the hard way when someone successfully stole his ID.

Davis who has ran several ads appearing on TV, radio, billboards and the internet, featuring his actual Social Security Number was daring somebody to take it, so it shouldn't have been a big surprise when someone did just that.

Davis acknowledged in an interview with The Associated Press that his stunt has led to at least 87 instances in which people have tried to steal his identity, and one succeeded: a guy in Texas who duped an online payday loan operation last year into giving him $500 using Davis' Social Security number.

But Davis says it just proves that his LifeLock identity protection service works. Stating, "My Social Security number has been out there for two years, and there’s only been one instance where someone was successful in trying to turn my identity into money."

LifeLock's customers seem to disagree with Mr. Davis, filling several lawsuits. Attorney Davis Paris has filed a class action lawsuit in Maryland, West Virginia and New Jersey saying that Davis and LifeLock engage in false advertising by seeming to offer absolute protection against identity theft in their ubiquitous ads.

Another lawsuit in Arizona alleges that his $1 million “service guarantee” is misleading and covers only defects in LifeLock services and not actual identity theft. The credit-reporting agency Experian has also filled a suit, alleging that Davis’ company deceives customers about the depth of its service. Experian claims LifeLock doesn’t give consumers any more protection for its $10 monthly fee than they can get for free on their own.

It would appear Davis' advertising gimmick might land him in hotter water than just a minor incident with ID theft.

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