Friday, August 28, 2009

Guess Who is Fighting Consumer Identity Theft Protections by Corporate Guardians

Lax security of personal data files kept by organizations increasingly exposes individuals to the risk of identity theft. Since 2005, for example, the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse has registered over 900 data breaches caused by US companies and government agencies. Over 200 million records containing sensitive personal information, like social security numbers, were involved.

After 1998 testimony from industry groups, the FTC agreed to self-regulating restrictions on access to credit reports information:

The Commission encourages the credit card industry to pursue perpetrators of identity theft and the consumer reporting agencies to continue to work with consumer victims to ensure the accuracy of their records. The Commission also believes that consumer victims need to be formally recognized as crime victims, complete with rights of restitution. The Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act of 1997 should go a long way toward lessening the harm identity theft inflicts on innocent consumers.

Fast forward to 2009 RESULT: ID-Theft Ring Ensnares Even the Fed Chairman

More currently (From the BLT: The Blog of LegalTimes),

The American Bar Association is suing the Federal Trade Commission in federal district court in Washington to block enforcement of regulations that require businesses and organizations that act as "creditors" to establish a program for preventing identity theft, The National Law Journal reports. Lawyers, doctors and other professionals are included in the FTC's definition of creditors because customers are billed after services are provided. The ABA is challenging that interpretation.

Thanks again, American Bar Association, you do so much to (select the answer that fits best):
a) please lawyer-politicians supported by corporate lobbyists
b) assure the job security of your membership
c) both a) and b)
d) inhibit the growth of national crime patterns

Which of the above, American Bar Association, is "not your job"? ans.: d)