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.

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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