Not surprisingly, Wired thinks that the US government should step in to address identity theft. The suggestions seem to be picking up traction, if you listen to other commentators in the media recently:
Wired News: Congress Must Deal With ID Theft
- Require businesses to secure data and levy fines against those who don't.
- Require companies to encrypt all sensitive customer data.
- Keep the plan simple and provide authority and funds to the FTC to ensure legislation is enforced.
- Keep Social Security numbers for Social Security.
- Force credit agencies to scrutinize credit-card applications and verify the identity of credit-card applicants.
- Extend fraud alerts beyond 90 days.
- Allow individuals to freeze their credit records so that no one can access the records without the individuals' approval.
- Require opt-in rather than opt-out permission before companies can share or sell data.
- Require companies to notify consumers of any privacy breaches, without preventing states from enacting even tougher local laws.