LifeLock has finally responded to our feature article this week about the Tempe-based company, and the revelation that its CEO, Todd Davis, has had his identity stolen at least 13 times.
We offered Davis and LifeLock the chance to come clean about Davis' problems with identity theft before we published the article, but the company wussed out.
Davis did, however, give a statement to one of the many online publications writing this week about the New Times article.
Naturally, we're suspicious about his spin.
Here's what Computerworld wrote this morning:
Davis said via e-mail that there had been "hundreds" of attempts to use his personal information in a fraudulent manner since 2005. All but 13 of those attempts were unsuccessful, Davis said.
"In each of these cases, our member services team performed the same service that it would for any LifeLock member," Davis said, adding that he had never lost of money as a result of the identity theft.
"I was saved many of hours of invaluable time, and my credit report has been corrected," Davis said.
He said that some of the successful attempts were "not true identity thefts" but rather involved "false entries on my credit file to people with similar names but different addresses -- clearly not me."
We're not sure whether "it only happened 13 times" will make an effective ad slogan.
But the main thing we're wondering is how, at this point, anyone would trust LifeLock at all.
LifeLock and Davis kept the damaging facts about the identity thefts hidden from their customers -- even after the Federal Trade Commission dinged the company $12 million for deceptive advertising.
But LifeLock didn't merely fail to disclose crucial information about the quality of its identity theft "protection" service -- as could have been predicted, it lied about Davis' experiences identity theft. Until earlier this month, LifeLock's Web site stated that Davis had only been a victim once. The company only removed these claims after inquiries from New Times.
After all that, Davis expects people to believe -- without evidence -- that he was victimized just 13 times, that "hundreds" of attempts to steal Davis' identity have been thwarted, that he never lost money due to identity theft and that his credit report has been corrected. Does Davis offer copies of his credit reports from the last three years as proof? Not yet, anyway.
We'll also be interested to see if Davis provides evidence that some of the 13 fraudulent accounts were "not true identity thefts." But we won't hold our breath.
Here's a sample of some of the other blogs and publications mentioning New Times' article this week:
Kim Zetter of Wired.com, who in 2007 reported Davis' first experience as a victim of identity theft.
Media Matters for America, on how the LifeLock story reflects on right-wing commentator Glenn Beck
A comedic report on "Things To Do With Todd Davis' Social Security Number," which includes the unpolitically correct suggestion to "get hundreds of replacement Social Security cards printed. Go to the Mexico-Arizona border and hand them out to illegals crossing the border. Sorry to bother you, Senor Davis!"