Monday, February 17, 2003

To Thwart the Identity Thieves

There is an excellent article in BusinessWeek on what is supposed to be the fastest growing crime in the U.S.: Identity Theft. I agree that only radical reform will solve the problem. However, I always think that the solutions focus on symptoms of the problem disclosure of customer identifying information) and not on the root cause of the problem (insufficient authentication (i.e. PROOF of identity) requirements by credit issuers). Your identifying information should not have to be secret. That is the mark of an insecure system.

The biggest problem with identity theft is the human element though. Consumers really don't want the additional security that would prevent identity theft because of the additional hassle it would cause them. I hear all the time about people who get offended by having to show I.D. for financial transactions--even when it is explained why this is necessary. It must be that people are natuarally trusting and to have someone challenge their authenticity is offensive. Perhaps it takes becoming the victim of identity theft to actually see that there are rational reasons to have better security...

I do like the idea of a market-driven solution. There are plenty of areas where the market fosters very poor security. Government mandates can change this tide and force novel approaches, like the one in this article.

BW Online | February 11, 2003 | To Thwart the Identity Thieves

No comments:

Post a Comment