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Session 2003
(partie écrite)
Durée : 2 heures
Coefficient : 2
L’usage d’un dictionnaire bilingue est autorisé.
Les calculatrices sont interdites.
Who’s Who
Every year scam artists reportedly create some 700,000 false identities – enough to fill a
virtual San Francisco. That estimate is conservative, insists Norman A. Willox, Jr., of the National
Fraud Center, a consulting firm. It’s based on the number of fake credit cards, bank accounts,
driver’s licenses and other supposed proofs of identity that are being uncovered. Data from the U.S.
General Accounting Office suggest that identity fraud has been increasing by roughly 50 percent a
year since 1999. And despite corporate and government moves toward
universal IDs, the quest for
absolute proof that you are who you say you are appears quixotic.
Creating a false identity is easy, especially if you start with a real one. A few visits to web-
based public directories (or local libraries and records offices) can yield addresses and phone
numbers past and present, date of birth, employers, mother’s maiden name and similar vital
personal data. Add an illegitimately obtained Social Security or credit-card number, and an
impostor has almost as solid a case for claiming to be someone as the real person does. Criminal
information brokers even package up complete identities for sale, according to Willox.
In a society in which people regularly do business without meeting face to face, a system
that bases trust on a few dozen bytes of lightly guarded data is fundamentally insecure. Federal
estimates of losses from identity fraud are well up in the billions of dollars a year, and those whose
names or numbers are used as a basis for fake identities may spend several years and thousands of
dollars trying to clear their records. Some have even been arrested and imprisoned for crimes
committed by their doppelgängers
. The rapid expansion of global trade, Willox says, is at risk.
The rise in identity theft, coupled with the current climate of fear about terrorism, has led
organizations ranging from database builder Oracle to the American Association of Vehicle
Administrators to propose the development of tamperproof IDs that would positively verify
everyone’s identity for purposes as diverse as opening a bank account or getting on an airplane.
Besides the usual name, address, birth date and ID number, proposed computer-readable identity
Doppelgängers = double, copie de quelqu’un .
« copycat »
cards could also contain biometric data such as fingerprints or iris scans to make falsification
impossible –assuming that it was issued to the right person in the first place.
But in addition to the obvious civil-liberties implications of an ID that could be used to track
every commercial or government transaction, an ostensibly perfect token of identity could reduce
security rather than enhance it. One problem, says Lauren Weinstein, moderator of the Internet-
based Privacy Forum, is that you shouldn’t confuse proof of identity with proof of trustworthiness.
The FBI and CIA knew exactly who Robert Hanssen and Aldrich Ames were, for example, but that
didn’t stop their espionage. Similarly, Weinstein argues, relying on a “frequent traveler card” for
airline security could lead to relaxed vigilance just when it’s most needed.
Tamperproof ID would be a “high-value target”, Weinstein explains. Given how often
criminals dupe or suborn the officials who issue birth certificates or driver’s licenses (and how
many false identities are already in place), even 99.9 percent accuracy would give thousands of fake
people a government imprimatur. Biometric certification of dubious identities could make life even
worse for victims of identity fraud – today as a last resort you can cancel all your accounts and even
get a new Social Security number, “but how do you cancel your fingerprints?” Weinstein points out.
Paul Wallich
(Scientific American, July 2002).
( 12
points )
Résumer le texte en français en 200 mots (+/- 10%).
Expression :
( 8
points )
Répondre aux deux questions en anglais.
Two weeks ago, you visited the “sales” web site of a US-based computer hardware retailer but
didn’t order anything. However, your bank account balance sheet received today shows a $ 500
credit card payment to that company. Write an e-mail note of protest to either the hardware
retailer or your bank.
(70 mots +/- 10 % : 3 points)
According to you, what are the best methods to counter identity fraud? Do they represent a
danger for privacy? Why (or why not)?
(130 mots +/- 10 % : 5 points)
Page 2/2
Session 2003
(partie écrite)
Durée : 2 heures
Coefficient : 2
( 8 points : 1=3, 2=5 )
Pour la question 1, on peut donner : -1 pt pour la qualité de l’argumentation et la clarté d’une
expression simple et efficace.
-1 pt pour la qualité du vocabulaire (mots bien choisis, y
compris réemploi judicieux de mots du texte, noms composés).
-1 pt pour la qualité grammaticale (ordre des mots
pertinence des formes verbales).
Pour la question 2, les trois points de la question 1 mais :
- 1 pt de plus pour la première rubrique
(qualité de l’argumentation et clarté) soit 2 au total pour cet aspect du travail.
- 1 pt pour la mise en page
( division en
paragraphes, majuscules, ponctuation, lisibilité).
Exemple de résumé :
( 12 points)
Le nombre d’ usurpations d’identité augmente actuellement de 50 % par an aux USA.Pour
aussi désirable qu’elle soit, il semble que la preuve d’identité fiable à cent pour cent soit un rêve.
En pillant une base de données (celle d’une bibliothèque ou de l’état civil), et en piratant un
numéro de Sécurité Sociale, on peut dérober l’identité d’une personne, certains en font même
commerce. Des milliards de dollars de transactions sont ainsi perdus chaque année, nuisant au
commerce international. Les malheureux dont l’identité a été volée, finissent même parfois en
prison à la place du pirate.
On a proposé de compléter les données habituelles par des caractéristiques
anthropométriques (empreintes digitales, carte de l’iris), mais la fiabilité ainsi obtenue pourrait non
seulement porter atteinte à la vie privée, mais aussi endormir la méfiance des contrôleurs: ce n’est
pas parce qu’on a des papiers en règle qu ‘on est honnête! Cependant, un tel système d’une
précision mirobolante de 99,9 % laisserait encore subsister des milliers de faux, et en cas de
détournement d’identité, la victime ne pourrait même plus obtenir de nouveaux papiers.
(182 mots)
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