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Ted Wright -- last update 2/1/2007 (ChamberFeb1.html)

Copyright 2007 -- Collinsville, Oklahoma

Collinsville Chamber of Commerce
Feb. 1, 2007
Identity Theft Laws Unknown To Most
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New Laws Increase Business Liability For Protecting Customer's Private Information

Collinsville Chamber of Commerce members (by show of hands) were mostly surprised by legislation already in effect which makes businesses liable for damages caused by mishandling (or loss) of their customer's private information. Most people are aware of identity theft issues related to credit cards, but the Chamber speaker (Herman Luette, Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialist) presented a larger scope of issues. The five major identity theft areas cover: financial data, medical data, character/criminal identity, driver's licence misuse and social security number theft/misure by illegal immigrants.

The cost to individual victims of identity theft (money lost & time spent trying to clear their records) continues to increase. Individuals impacted by identity theft also cost their employers in lost time working thought issues for months during business hours.

FACTA (Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act), HIPPA (for medical record restrictions), and the Gramm, Leach, Biley Safeguard Rule were cited as legislation attempting to protect our private information which is used by identity thiefs.

Herman Luette (from CITRMS)
Next Chamber meeting is March 1st

While I appreciate the effort to make my personal data more secure, it is my belief (as usual) that the government has the emphasis on the wrong problem. Trying to retroactively remove or restrict data from the public domain (i.e. the internet and millions of business and government databases) is effectively impossible. I would prefer to see an effort to prevent someone (other than myself) from easily using my readily available data [e.g. social security number, bank account number on every check, mother's maiden name, signature, ...etc] to obtain a credit card, use a credit card for any purchase, get a loan, and almost any other business transaction. There has to be some way to keep most of the convience of "instant transactions" with physical confirmation (by finger print or retinal scan or other?) and be verified from a central national/international database which at least has a chance of being secured.

-- Just my two cents worth ...
-- Ted Wright 2/1/2007