Thursday, October 25, 2007

Leahy, Specter Intro ID Theft Bill to Give Victims Redress

To follow up on the post from yesterday, it appears the Senate has taken notice to the issue of identity theft and the need for increased security and protection of privacy as well as stronger penalties for perpetrators. The Personal Data Privacy and Security Act (S. 495), introduced by Senators Leahy and Specter (the bill will be helped by the fact that these two are the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee), would take a number of positive steps on consumers' behalf.

Among others, these include:

  • Give victims of identity theft the ability to seek restitution for the loss of time and money spent restoring credit and remedying the harms of identity theft
  • Expand the jurisdiction of federal computer fraud statutes to cover small businesses and corporations
  • Eliminate the prosecutorial requirement that sensitive identity information must have been stolen through an interstate or foreign communication and instead focuses on whether the victim's computer is used in interstate or foreign commerce, allowing for the prosecutions of cases in which both the identify thief's computer and the victim's computer are located in the same state

Senator Leahy stated, "Protecting American consumers from identity theft and fraud should be one of the Senate's top priorities. Cyber criminals are getting smarter and more effective in their online efforts to strip Americans of their privacy, and their property. We can't afford to stand still while they find new ways to get around our laws and our crime-fighting tactics. This is a bill to help us stay ahead of the curve in prosecuting these cyber crimes. Senator Specter and I are committed to moving forward with this aggressive and important privacy legislation."

Click here to read the full article.

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