Wednesday, December 05, 2007

False positives on automated responses

My previous post was about false positives by police, so it seems appropriate to talk about false positives in another context.

I was looking for a branch of Suntrust Bank (one of the major banks in the area where I live), and discovered that most of their site only works with Internet Explorer (not uncommon, but still frustrating). So I wrote a comment to their "contact us" site, saying that I was unhappy that it wouldn't work with Firefox, especially since Firefox is more secure than IE.

I'm guessing (hoping?!?!) that it's an automated system that provided this response:

Thank you for contacting SunTrust in regards to security of the web site.

We at SunTrust understand your concerns regarding the security of our services, and we appreciate the opportunity to address them.

SunTrust has taken strong measures to ensure that your information remains confidential. The first step is the use of a secure browser. Certain browsers and certain computers have the ability to communicate securely by scrambling the information as it passes across the Internet. The method of communication is called SSL, or Secure Socket Layer. We require the use of a secure browser before a connection can be made to SunTrust's online services. After you reach us using a secure browser, we take measures to make sure your information is kept secure and confidential.

Your information passes through a firewall, which is a device specifically designed to keep out unauthorized users. The information is also scrambled again to ensure that only authorized SunTrust representatives can read it. For security purposes, SunTrust requires you to enter two sets of numbers to gain access to our Online Services, a Customer Identification Number and a password. Your password should only be known by you.

Finally, communication with our representatives regarding your accounts may occur only after your identity has been thoroughly verified.

Wow, I feel better now.


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