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Preventing Identity Theft in Your Business by Judith M. Collins

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CHAPTER 4IDENTITY CRIMES ARE ESCALATING

Identity theft in the United States is not only entrenched, it is escalating. Identities of untold numbers of U.S. citizens are being exported to India, China, Japan, Russia, Canada, the Philippines, and elsewhere. Prosecutions of identity crimes are rare because of jurisdictional obstacles. Local law enforcement has been stripped of resources to combat identity crimes. There is little, if any, preemptive identity theft legislation, and businesses require no security standards to protect personal identities. For these reasons, identity thefts and identity crimes are predicted to increase exponentially.

OUTSOURCING IDENTITIES

Consider, first, outsourcing. Hundreds of U.S. companies seek to remain competitive by sending white-collar jobs abroad to be performed by a cheaper workforce. The types of jobs being outsourced include employee benefits, customer service centers, database management, employee payroll, and income tax preparation, to name a few. Even the credit agencies, each of which maintains databases on over 200 million U.S. consumers, outsource jobs that process credit disputes—presumably, many or even most arising from identity thefts. These and other white-collar jobs would not exist but for Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, and other personal identifiers. Without this personal information, there would be no job tasks to perform and no jobs to outsource. The real truth is that it is “identities” ...

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