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Blogging background checking and security issues

4.18.2005

Private Competition or Government Control - the Best Solution to Identity Theft

Now that LexisNexis has gotten into the same boat as ChoicePoint through the criminal infiltration of its databases containing thousands of individuals’ personal information, lawmakers are getting antsy to do something about it. The issue that comes to the forefront is whether it’s better to get legislation passed right away or if it’s better to wait and let the competitive marketplace slowly work its way through to a solution. Doing something quickly is championed by some in order to protect our economy since so much of our buying and selling is done online – the primary place criminals go to steal personal data.

The opposition isn’t direct, but rather strongly recommends caution. As the article above points out, passing various pieces of legislation quickly by different states could lead to unforeseen problems. Laws that vary by state create extra work (which means higher prices) for industries that operate on a national level.

A standardized and unified approach to identity theft needs to be taken that efficiently addresses the heart of the problem. This will almost certainly include new legislation, and probably legislation that is passed fairly quickly, but it needs to be done with a national marketplace in mind. Knee-jerk legislation will only bring more headaches.

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