This latest incident, in which SelectQuote demonstrated its lack of controls on customer data, but skill at passing the buck, segues nicely into the utility of scrubbing data before handing it over to developers. Especially one which you haven’t even hired yet. When I was the one guy maintaining all web and telephony systems it might be excused, but every developer, and especially outside developers, need realistic but fake data.
Nor would I have wanted real data. If you have ever fielded consumer complaints for a website, you are aware many end users have no idea why or who is sharing their data. I’ve run in to cases which were obviously spyware on the user’s machine.
It’s very hard to prove to someone that you did not give their data away (“No, it could not possibly be my Antiguan Super-Porno browser extension”). Now that the government collects insurance data, it’s even worse. There’s a whole new set of people that could lose it. Not to mention the shady characters at SelectQuote might sell penis pills on the side for all we know.
For the past four years SelectQuote has probably just pointed a finger in my direction when they can’t find an explanation that makes the customer go away. While I have no incentive to screw SelectQuote’s customers, I’m still an easy target. After all this time it’s obvious that I didn’t just make this up on a lark. But most people a very reality-adverse, it’s easier to call people who live in the real world paranoid or drug user than look in the mirror.