[Politech] Missouri tracks scofflaws via access to pizza-delivery databases [priv]

From: Declan McCullagh (declan@private)
Date: Tue Apr 27 2004 - 21:05:59 PDT

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    -------- Original Message --------
    Subject: Missouri tracks scofflaws via pizza-delivery databases
    Date: Tue, 27 Apr 2004 23:29:03 -0400
    From: Richard M. Smith <rms@private>
    To: 'Declan McCullagh' <declan@private>
    Missouri tracks scofflaws via pizza-delivery databases
    By Kelly Wiese, Associated Press
    JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - It's dinnertime, and you're hungry and tired, so
    you pick up the phone and order your favorite pizza. But you might have
    just landed yourself a lot more than pepperoni and cheese.
    If you owe fines or fees to the courts, that phone call may have
    provided the link the state needed to track you down and make you pay.
    That's one of the strategies of firms such as a company being hired by
    the Missouri Office of State Courts Administrator to handle its fine and
    debt collections.
    David Coplen, the state office's budget director, said he discovered
    that pizza delivery lists are one of the best sources such companies use
    to locate people.
    "There are literally millions of dollars of uncollected fines, fees and
    court costs out there," Coplen said.
    How much?
    A sampling in January of just three of Missouri's 114 counties found
    about $2 million owed to courts by people whose Social Security numbers
    were known, Coplen said. That finding suggests courts statewide could
    reap significant revenue once Dallas-based ACS gets to work this month
    pursuing people using phone numbers and addresses.
    Databases compiled by private companies and government agencies are a
    key tool for firms such as ACS, Coplen said, and "one of the databases
    they find to be most helpful are pizza delivery databases."
    "When you call to order a pizza, you usually give them your correct
    name, your correct address and your correct phone number," he said.
    Just which pizza companies' databases might be mined is unknown.
    A representative of Domino's Pizza said the company does not sell its
    customer information, and other national pizza chains did not respond to
    messages seeking comment.
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