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Thursday, May 03, 2007


The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) joined with the Department of Justice (DOJ) to come up with a White House plan to curb ID theft that has little substance and goes nowhere. To start, privacy-rights and consumer groups want much tighter controls to overcome the accelerated advances in technology. Bush’s scheme “…shies away from glaring systemic problems.” say the privacy advocates in an article in The Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) wants guarantees of a consumer’s right to know the data being collected on them. In contrast, the federal task force does not support consumers’ rights for actions against companies breaching their personal data. Ed Mierzwinski of US Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) criticized the task-force for not targeting loose credit-granting practices. This would include the millions of unsolicited credit car mailings annually, repeatedly discussed in this blog. The piece revisits a sore spot in the ChoicePoint issue. After reporting a breach of 145,000 individual private records in 2005, they signed a five-year contract with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to help manage their public records. And the breach didn’t prevent CP from providing the government services under the USA PATRIOT Act. In this plan, the White House is even touting the value of the Real ID Act in standardizing consumer data, but the privacy groups scream Big Brother and the database’s susceptibility to the bad guys. Is there any way to narrow the gap between now and November of 2008?

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