Financial and other institutions must take a stand on identity theft legislation before others take a stand against them. That is, some legislation could be enacted that would require cost prohibitive measures for compliance that, for some companies, could jeopardize the ability to compete and contribute to the overall economy of the United States.

Unfortunately, legislation is not always based on firsthand information. Financial institutions, which are closer to the identity theft problem, and other businesses are in positions of authority when it comes to identity theft legislation. Further, employees of those businesses are in the best position of all to influence enactment of cost-effective and preventive legislation that will not simultaneously impede the firms’ ability to do business. This chapter discusses identity theft on the legislative front.


Goals: Design, propose, and prepare a press release announcing proactive legislation in identity theft prevention.

Specific Objectives: The majority of legislation on identity theft is reactive; that is, legislation enacted as a reaction to a crime already committed. Examples abound in numerous laws passed in the name of consumer protection. Reactive legislative is important. More important, however, is legislation that proactively prevents identity crimes from occurring in the first place.

At the same time, lawmakers who propose such laws may ...

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