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House to Vote on Bill to Weaken Current Identity Theft Protections

The leadership of the House of Representatives plans to vote on "The Financial Data Protection Act," a controversial and weak version of data security legislation that would strip consumers of their existing state rights to protect themselves against identity theft. The legislation being voted on allows companies that experience a security breach to notify individuals of a possible identity theft risk only after the company decides that consumers are at risk of harm or inconvenience.

Ed Mierzwinski, Consumer Program Director for the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, had this description of the bill, "The states have given consumers strong identity theft protections, but Congress wants to take those rights away with this industry-approved bill that won't prevent data breaches and won't scare identity thieves into going straight. If House leadership is using this bill as a message, the message is quite simple: consumers lose out."

The House leadership has chosen not to bring to the floor a stronger identity theft bill unanimously approved by the House Commerce Committee that would have given consumers stronger identity theft protections.


US regulators propose bank rules to curb ID theft

U.S. regulators said they plan to require all banks to develop an identity theft prevention program for customers that includes "red flags" about suspicious account activity.

The new practices would also require credit and debit card issuers to assess the validity of a request for a change of address which is followed by a request for an additional card, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said.

The proposed regulations would require each bank, thrift and creditor to adopt procedures for detecting, preventing, and mitigating identity theft. The programs must verify the identity of a person opening a new account, and include red flags that can signal possible risks when accounts are opened or changed.


Many databases track you

Most consumers know about credit reports that track how responsibly we handle our finances. But there are plenty of lesser-known databases also keeping tabs on us.

Luckily, the federal law that requires free annual credit reports also entitles consumers to a free copy of other reports once a year. And, as with credit reports, consumers have a right to challenge information on the reports to get inaccurate information removed.


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