Seth Godin posted today about what he titled “Security Theatre.” He is basically describing the masquerade that airlines put on before every flight. They are selling the illusion of a safe and secure flight. Seth goes on to explain how every business, to a degree, puts on this performance.

Interestingly, I read another post today on the Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner blog for their book, “Freakonomics.” Levitt throws out facts in the usual Freakonomics’ style, on the issue of identity theft. Levitt writes that The TowerGroup, a research firm owned by MasterCard Worldwide, recently found that banks are not yet ready to dedicate resources to solving any ID theft problem, which leaves the onus largely on the merchants.

FingerprintThis sparks an interesting question for me. Some of my biggest clients are banks, and in the last few months at least 3 out of 4 of their messages to their customers have been about how they are beefing up security to protect their private information. So is this just a masquerade being put on by the banks? Are they selling the illusion of security to their customers, but secretly scrambling because they have no idea in the world they are going to protect private information from hackers?