President's Identity Theft Task Force Releases Plan to Combat Identity Theft
The US Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and Federal Trade Commission Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras have announced the completion of the President’s Identity Theft Task Force strategic plan to combat identity theft. The strategic plan is the result of an unprecedented federal effort to formulate a comprehensive and fully co-ordinated plan to attack this widespread and destructive crime. The plan focuses on ways to improve the effectiveness of criminal prosecutions of identity theft; enhance data protection for sensitive consumer information maintained by the public sector, private sector, and consumers; provide more comprehensive and effective guidance for consumers and the business community; and improve recovery and assistance for consumers. Highlights of the recommendations include reducing the unnecessary use of social security numbers by federal agencies, the most valuable commodity for an identity thief, as well as establishing national standards that require private sector entities to safeguard the personal data they compile and maintain and to provide notice to consumers when a breach occurs that poses a significant risk of identity theft.