Thursday, June 09, 2005

Preventing ID Theft

According to the FTC, there are 10 million identity theft victims a year. It is a serious problem which needs to be addressed. The ease with which as imposter can steal an identity as well as the ready availability of personal information make financial transactions costly & dangerous.

One way to fight impostors is to have a national ID system. This one of the reasons for the lower rate of identity fraud in Europe. While a national ID system does raise privacy concerns, it might be one we should adopt, for it would help with our security & immigration situation as well.

Another way to secure identity is to have a fingerprint system. Such a system would not only make check-outs at stores faster, but also easier, as it would eliminated having to carry check books & credit cards. However, there have been problems,
ChoicePoint Inc., a background-screening company that collects personal information -- including biometric data -- said it accidentally sold more than 100,000 individual profiles to identity thieves.
But, considering that many companies have had these types of incidences regarding paper & plastic information too, the fingerprint system doesn't seem too bad.

Comments:
It has always surprised me that liberals and conservatives oppose national id cards. Perhaps like many other issues, if they were victims, they would do something.
 
I agree, it wasn't untill I became a victim of ID theft that I started to think seriously about the issue. Perhaps my willingness to accept the risks of national ID cards & fingerprint purchase stems from that experience.
 
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