Jun 182009
 June 18, 2009  Featured News, Govt, Laws, U.S.

The Federal Trade Commission today described its comprehensive efforts to combat identity theft before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Information Policy, Census, and National Archives of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. The FTC also recommended legislative remedies to enhance the effectiveness of these efforts.

The testimony presented by Betsy Broder, Assistant Director of the FTC’s Division of Privacy and Identity Protection, highlighted the agency’s leadership role in developing a national strategy to combat identity theft as part of the President’s Identity Theft Task Force. The Task Force issued 31 recommendations that promoted an enhanced data security culture in the public and private sectors, launched victim assistance initiatives, and improved law enforcement’s ability to pursue and punish identity thieves.

The FTC’s testimony recommended that, to help prevent identity theft, Congress should establish data security standards across the private sector requiring all organizations that hold sensitive consumer data to take reasonable measures to safeguard it, and to notify consumers when the security of their information has been breached. In addition, the Commission has asked Congress for authority to seek civil penalties in data security cases and for legislation that would help reduce the unnecessary use and display of Social Security numbers.

Source – FTC Press Release

The FTC’s testimony can be found here (pdf). See also EPIC.org’s testimony (pdf). Andrew Noyes of Congress Daily also provides a recap of the hearings yesterday.

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