Sep 29, 2013 Dave King
While it appeared as though federal and state regulators were making identity theft their highest priority going into the coming years, some groups have started to feel as though this is not necessarily the case. However, it certainly should be, as identity theft leads to hundreds of millions of dollars in annual losses for the public and private sectors each year, as well as for consumers.
The efforts of certain law enforcement agencies have paid off quite a bit on a local basis, though much more work needs to be done to truly make a significant impact on the reduction of identity theft-related crimes. Business executives should not wait for regulators to step up to the plate, and should rather institute ID verification standards internally that adequately protect corporate and consumer identities.
Where does the FTC stand?
The Daily Caller recently asserted that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) might not be prioritizing plans properly, considering that the agency recently announced that big data is the most important component of operations going forward. The FTC is one of the more critical entities when it comes to identity theft protection, especially since the crime is the most common complaint received by the commission.
According to the news provider, the FTC recently shifted the emphasis to the collection of online data, moving away from the prevailing priorities of past years when identity theft was front and center. Though the FTC has been receiving some support in the form of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and myriad local law enforcement agencies, it still needs to be at the forefront of the fight.
The source explained that the FTC wants to limit the amount of online data that is allowed to be collected, as decision-makers feel as though this will help protect privacy among consumers and businesses. However, the types of information and strategies the FTC has gone after have little to nothing to do with identity theft, and will not prevent the crime from spreading more in the coming years.
The Daily Caller added that the most recent study from Javelin Strategy and Research revealed that identity theft cost consumers $21 billion in 2012, affecting 12.6 million victims over just 12 months.
Don't wait for help
Enterprise executives should never rely on external forces to prevent identity theft for them, but should rather take the lead in the fight against the crime. Businesses are best positioned to reduce the rate of identity theft, since they are some of the more common users of financial data and other potentially damaging information.
Between strong records management policies, implementation of effective and agile data security solutions and plenty of ID verification standards and training, organizations can reduce the risk of identity theft for themselves, their communities and anyone they do business with.
Firms that do not feel entirely confident with the best practices of identity theft protection should consider calling on a firm that specializes in the actions.