Congress Passes ID Theft Bill

The U.S. Senate today announced legislation to stop identity theft. To accomplish this goal identify theft would have harsher penalties of up to two years in prison. However this bill does not address the responsibility of organizations to protect personal data that they have collected and store. As you can guess this is the weak point of the bill.

The U.S. Senate today approved legislation aiming to stop identity theft by increasing criminal penalties and creating a new crime of aggravated ID theft, defined as using a stolen identity to commit certain other crimes. The House of Representatives passed the same bill Wednesday, and the legislation is now headed to the White House for the President's signature.

If signed into law, the Identity Theft Penalty Enhancement Act, authored by Rep. John Carter, R-Texas, will require conviction for aggravated ID theft to come with a mandatory sentence enhancement of two years, and aggravated ID theft committed for the purpose of terrorism to come with an additional mandatory five-year penalty. As a large percentage of ID thefts are committed by insiders—notably at health care and financial institutions—the bill also directs the U.S. Sentencing Commission to revise guidelines for punishing individuals who abuse positions of trust to commit insider identity theft.

News source: eWeek

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