Risk Revolution: The Threats Facing America and Technology’s Promise for a Safer Tomorrow

***** Risk Revolution: The Threats Facing America and Technology’s Promise for a Safer Tomorrow. By Derek V. Smith; published by Longstreet Press; available at (Web); 257 pages; $15.75 (at

Derek V. Smith—CEO of ChoicePoint, the public records aggregator that has been in the news for compromise of consumer data—has written a provocative book that focuses on the new threats facing America, including child exploitation, serial crimes, and, perhaps ironically, identity theft. The book provides a forum for Smith’s views on how to combat these threats, mainly through link analytics, a model that allows the federal government and the commercial sector to share information on individuals based on probable cause.

Throughout the book, Smith plays the 9-11 card too much. If only the United States had had a massive database of financial transactions, surveillance images, and other personal data, Smith writes, the terrorists might have been stopped. He does admit, however, that technology such as databases and DNA can be used only to mitigate, not eliminate, threats to society.

Is it wise to take advice on preventing identity theft from a person whose company reportedly suffered massive data theft after his book was published? It’s hard to say. Still, the book provides a good public policy approach to today’s emerging threats.

Reviewer: Mark Robinson, M.B.A., is president of Competitive Strategies, LLC, a competitive intelligence and counterespionage consulting organization. Robinson is a member of ASIS International.



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