Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Do You Know Where Your Identity Is?

Yesterday brought us yet another story of massive identity theft. Data broker LexisNexis now says over 300,000 identities may have been stolen from their databases.

This is hardly an isolated incident. In just the last week, identities have been stolen from patients at a San Jose Medical Group, alumni of Tufts University and registered voters in Tarrant County, Texas. And those are just the ones we know about.

Tech News World reports:

More than 9.9 million Americans were victims of identity theft last year, costing the nation roughly $5 billion, not including lost productivity, according to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

California Senator Diane Feinstein has introduced a bill that would require “companies that experience a breach in security to notify all affected consumers whose personal information may have been compromised.”

Unfortunately, when Feinstein introduced the legislation last session, it was rejected. The Congress must not continue to ignore this problem. Not only should Feinstein’s legislation be passed into law, but so should laws making it easier for victims to recover their good credit and laws that significantly increase the penalties for identity theft. This is a major problem that needs serious and substantial action from our government.


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