News & Resources

Controversy abounds in ID verification, privacy protection

Jan 07, 2014 Dave King

By now, most Americans have learned that identity theft caused by data breaches has become one of the most damaging economic issues in the nation, and hackers continue to infiltrate corporate systems to steal money from victims. ID verification has moved into the spotlight in the private sector, and must continue to be a high priority for decision makers going into 2014.

The Los Angeles Times recently reported that the threat of identity theft is not only shared by those who shop at firms that experience a breach, including Target, which recently suffered a breach of the financial information of more than 40 million customers earlier this month and in late November. Instead, the source argued that virtually all Americans are at risk of losing their identities, especially considering the increased prevalence of consumer data selling and buying in the marketing industry.

Privacy protection has become one of the more critical aspects of ID verification and identity theft defense, as marketers continue to sell the sensitive personal information of tens of millions of individuals every year. According to the news provider, data brokers are now the targets of many discussions being held in Washington and among privacy advocacy groups.

"Few people know that data brokers exist, and beyond that, few know what they do," World Privacy Forum Pam Dixon executive director told The Los Angeles Times. "Even a knowledgeable consumer lacks the tools to exercise any control over his or her data held by a data broker," she said. "It doesn't matter that the data is about the consumer. The data broker has all the rights, and the consumer has none."

No matter what industry a business competes within, they must take ownership of any and all data that it ingests, be it from other companies, consumers or vendors. By focusing on privacy protection, data security and ID verification, organizations can begin to slow the rate of identity theft.