Privacy Advisor


November 1, 2007

Southern Florida KnowledgeNet Gathers for Second Meeting in Orlando

Robert Samson

IAPP's second Florida KnowledgeNet gathered recently for a special presentation by Thomas Campbell, Special Agent of the U.S. Secret Service's Cyber Crime Team.

Held  July 24, 2007 at the offices of Ernst & Young, Campbell updated attendees on current trends affecting data theft, strategies used by criminal organizations to obtain corporate information and lessons learned from several recent cases.

Campbell began by sharing how the Secret Service, an organization originally created to protect government leaders, has expanded to work more closely with both local law enforcement and business leaders in fighting electronic crimes. The Secret Service now hosts quarterly meetings directed at business under the heading of the "Electronic Crime Task Force (ECTF).  Information on regional locations of the ECTF can be found at

Discussions were lively with several attendees sharing their own firm's experiences with data thefts. Campbell indicated that personal information was becoming a coveted commodity for a new high-tech underworld that trades the stolen data across borders. Web sites pop up overnight that sell bulk access to stolen credit cards and personal data.

"It is like shopping on the Internet," Campbell said. "Within minutes, stolen data can be processed, sold and in the hands of criminals who launder the data into cash."

Because so much of this activity goes on in countries such as Russia — where U.S. law enforcement receives little cooperation —  investigations and prosecutions are difficult. Campbell appreciated the importance of the IAPP and its membership's focus on security and education. Information about the Southern Florida KnowledgeNet can be found at

Robert Samson, Director of Information Protection and Privacy, Marriott Vacation Club International and Elizabeth Bates, CEO, SECNAP Network Security, are co-chairs of the IAPP Florida KnowledgeNet.