Federal Task Force Completes Identity Theft Strategic Plan

The Identity Theft Task Force, a group appointed by a presidential executive order to oversee identity theft solutions at the federal level, has finalized a strategic plan to combat this type of crime. The report says identity theft has become an increasingly complex and challenging dilemma for consumers, industry, and the government.

"Identity theft is a crime that goes far beyond the loss of money or property," said Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, a co-chair of the panel. "It is a personal invasion . . . that can rob innocent men and women of their good names." He said the plan is part of a comprehensive effort to fight tbe crime, protect consumers, "and help victims put their lives back together." The plan contains a blueprint for enhanced federal prevention and protection, and it recommends decreasing public use of Social Security numbers; educating federal agencies on ways to enhance data protection; and improving federal response efforts in cases where data is lost. Several recommendations address legislatively closing gaps in existing identity theft laws.

For the private sector, the task force recommends national standards to require the protection of personal data and prompt notification of any breach that poses a significant risk of identity theft. "The ID Theft Task Force plan is a valuable contribution to the ongoing efforts of the public and private sectors to combat identity theft and fraud," said Joseph Gurreri, vice president of TransUnion and chair of the ANSI-BBB Identity Theft Prevention and Identity Management Standards Panel. "For its part, the IDSP is working to bring together public and private sector interests to partner on identifying best practices and standards-based solutions to address this costly marketplace problem." For more information, visit www.ansi.org/idsp.

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