• United States
Contributing Writer

Combating online identity theft

Sep 11, 20032 mins
Enterprise Applications

* Online Identify Theft Prevention Coalition

A coalition was formed last week to take on online identity theft. Led by the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA), the coalition will bring together all facets of e-business to ward off these types of crimes.

Called the Online Identity Theft Prevention Coalition, the group is comprised of representatives from financial services, information technology and e-commerce organizations.

The coalition has as their charter four main areas to tackle: public education, the promotion of technology and self-help methods, the sharing of information, and interacting with the government for better enforcement of laws.

Look for the coalition to work with the public to make them aware of how identity theft occurs and what can be done to stop it. The group also will work with software makers to develop programs that stop online fraud.

The tough nut in all of this is the sharing of information. Global corporations that suffer theft of their customers’ information are very reluctant to publicize the event for obvious reasons. Their credibility takes a hit and their businesses are compromised.

Perhaps if these businesses are given a forum, outside of law enforcement, to share their experiences, a lot can be learned. I’ve talked about this in past newsletters: their knowledge is the key to stopping this from happening in the future. However, getting these businesses to open up is challenging. Law enforcement and government agencies have tried to provide a safe haven for financial institutions and e-tailers that have been hacked into or stolen from, but as an FBI representative once told me, they are very hesitant to talk about anything for fear of doing more damage.

Finally, the coalition aims to work with the authorities to develop a stronger reaction by law enforcement. They are hoping to foster an environment that “protects consumers and businesses.”

All of these ideas seem sound and doable. But will this be just another coalition or will it actually make strides to cut down on the rash of the identity theft?

What do you think? Let me know at