Senate Bill May Help Prevent Identity Theft

What’s the Real Deal with The Senate Bill and Identity Theft Protection?

Just when we were starting to think the government could care less about our identity theft issues, a senate bill was introduced that would lend a hand to identity theft prevention. But how helpful will this bill really be and how much will it actually protect consumers from identity theft?

What’s Being Proposed?

If Senators Robert Bennett and Tom Carper get their way, companies will be required to notify customers if anything has happened to compromise the security of the customers’ information. However, the bill does not include every instance of security breaches, leaving customers in the dark when certain instances occur.

Right now the law basically states that businesses can decide when and if they should notify customers when information leaks occur. The bill being proposed will require businesses to notify customers if any breach occurred that would likely lead to identity theft.

Unfortunately, the bill does not require businesses to report the breach if the customers could eliminate the risk by changing account numbers or closing accounts. When you think about it, this causes a problematic issue.

If a business has an information breach that would lead to identity theft, but their customers could be protected by closing accounts or changing account numbers, the business wouldn’t be required to notify their customers of the breach. However, if the customers aren’t notified, how do they know they should change the account numbers or close the accounts? When you analyze it, the proposal is pretty senseless and definitely favors the interests of businesses over the safety of consumers.

Why Wouldn’t Businesses Want Consumers Notified?

Many people mistakenly believe that businesses would want to notify their customers immediately when an information breach occurs, causing a risk of identity theft. After all, it’s the proper thing to do -- right? Unfortunately, that’s not always how it works.

Businesses usually have their best interests in mind. If they notify their customers of an information breach that may lead to identity theft, the customers lose faith in that business and the reputation of that business gets a black eye. If the business doesn’t notify customers, no one’s the wiser.

The Bottom Line

On the surface it seems that measures are being taken to protect us from identity theft. Unfortunately, when you dig a bit deeper it appears that we are still the only ones taking real measures to keep ourselves safe from identity theft.

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