In an Ohio sting operation at a strip bar, a 22-year-old student intern with the United States Marshals Service was given a fake identity so she could work undercover at the club. But instead of giving her a fabricated identity, the police gave her the identity of another woman living in another Ohio city. And they didn't tell the other woman.
Oddly enough, this is legal. According to Ohio's identity theft law, the police are allowed to do it. More specifically, the crime cannot be prosecuted if:
The person or entity using the personal identifying information is a law enforcement agency, authorized fraud personnel, or a representative of or attorney for a law enforcement agency or authorized fraud personnel and is using the personal identifying information in a bona fide investigation, an information security evaluation, a pretext calling evaluation, or a similar matter.
Wow. Government-endorsed identity theft.
One of the main questions this brings to mind, at least for me...why is this necessary? Can they not create a convincing fake ID on their own? Apparently I have way more faith in these people than I should.
Another is...what does this do in regard to background checks? What if your license or SSN are used for some sort of child-porn sting? Everyone knows that oftentimes one government office doesn't know what the other is doing. Who is going to protect you if there are repercussions?
Is my identity floating around in use for some sting operation somewhere? Apparently they don't have to notify you when they take it. Not only does it possibly put the government medical assistance I receive at risk (and I assure you, I would be screwed without it), but isn't this potentially fairly dangerous? What if someone using my name, address and social security number tries to infiltrate some violent drug ring? It's possible.
I don't like this at all.