It might not have happened to you, but you probably know someone who has been hit — someone who has had a credit card, social security number or check stolen and found themselves a victim of identity theft.
Experts says there are now over three million Americans targeted each year, and it’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better. In the past month alone people have discovered that their data’s been illicitly purchased from big companies like ChoicePoint, LexisNexis, and Bank of America.
Consumer advocates say it’s just too easy for hackers to get into these databases and that the government’s been too slow to regulate the credit industry. Others argue that in the digital age, where instant credit is a norm, these kinds of breaches are inevitable. If someone steals your identity, where does that leave you?
Mari Frank, attorney and member of the Advisory Board to the California Office of Privacy Protection
Evan Hendricks, Editor and Publisher of Privacy Times.