Report: Center needed to oversee identity theft efforts

The federal government should establish a National Identity Theft Law Enforcement Center to coordinate efforts among federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, according to a report from the President’s Identity Theft Task Force.

The center would allow authorities, regulatory agencies and the private sector to consolidate, analyze and share identity theft information and practices. The Justice Department should lead the group, which would also include representatives from the FBI, Secret Service, Social Security Administration’s Office of Inspector General, Federal Trade Commission and  U.S. Postal Service, according to the task force.

The recommendation was included in a long-awaited 120-page report released April 23 by the task force.

“We need to do more to educate the American public of the dangers of identity theft,” said Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, speaking at a press conference with Federal Trade Commission Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras. Gonzalez and Majoras are co-chairs for the task force.

Industry representatives praised the idea of creating a law enforcement center, saying that as criminals get organized with their efforts to steal data, authorities need to share information to fight back.

“[Identity thieves are] very sophisticated in how they are interacting with each other and forming [rings],” said Joni Swedlund, principal at Deloitte. “From the law enforcement side…we don’t have the same freedom for sharing information and [working collaboratively].”

In addition to the law enforcement center, the report contains 31 categories of specific recommendations including:

  • Reduce the use of Social Security numbers by federal agencies. 
  • Establish national standards for protecting personal data in the private sector.
  • Create a broad awareness and outreach program to inform consumers.
  • Boost identity theft and aggravated identity theft statutes, and attach a wider variety of crimes for which offenders would receive a 2-year mandatory jail sentence.
  • Amend existing statutes to allow federal prosecutors to charge people who use malicious spyware and malware.

The Identity Theft Task Force was formed in May 2006 to craft a strategic plan to focus government efforts against identity theft. The task force consists of the heads of a variety of federal agencies.

Featured

  • Telecommunications
    Stock photo ID: 658810513 By asharkyu

    GSA extends EIS deadline to 2023

    Agencies are getting up to three more years on existing telecom contracts before having to shift to the $50 billion Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions vehicle.

  • Workforce
    Shutterstock image ID: 569172169 By Zenzen

    OMB looks to retrain feds to fill cyber needs

    The federal government is taking steps to fill high-demand, skills-gap positions in tech by retraining employees already working within agencies without a cyber or IT background.

  • Acquisition
    GSA Headquarters (Photo by Rena Schild/Shutterstock)

    GSA to consolidate multiple award schedules

    The General Services Administration plans to consolidate dozens of its buying schedules across product areas including IT and services to reduce duplication.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.