Identity Theft: Federal Task Force Provides Good Recommendations Too Late—Identity Theft Expert and Speaker on Personal Security

(BOSTON, Mass. – May 7, 2007 – In late April, the Federal Identity Theft Task Force, formed last year to investigate this crime, released findings and recommendations. According to Robert Siciliano, a widely televised and quoted personal security and identity theft expert, the announcement was one more example of government bureaucracy seemingly unable to counter identity theft in a timely manner.

“Identity theft happens fast,” said Siciliano. “Ask anyone who’s been a victim. A year’s time at the mercy of an identity thief could mean a life’s savings gone. While we need government intervention to stop identity theft, we also need it to happen on identity theft’s timetable, not a bureaucracy’s.”

CEO of and a member of the Bank Fraud & IT Security Report’s editorial board, Siciliano leads Fortune 500 companies and their clients in workshops that explore consumer education solutions for security issues. A longtime identity theft speaker and author of “The Safety Minute: 01,” he has discussed data security and consumer protection on CNBC, on NBC’s “Today Show,” FOX News, and elsewhere.

On April 23, President Bush’s Federal Identity Theft Task Force, led by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Federal Trade Commission Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras, announced its recommendations. The 190-page report addressed a wide spectrum of data and computer crime and its effects, calling for tougher laws against some identity theft–related crimes; longer prison sentences, in some cases, for those who steal electronic data; and improved monetary compensation for victims of identity theft.

One recommendation of note calls for the development of a federal law to supersede state laws that currently require data brokers, or any company, to inform the public when data breaches of certain magnitudes occurs. Thirty-five states already have such laws. One notable example is California’s SB 1386, which compelled ChoicePoint, Inc. to report a massive data breach in early 2005.

On April 20, reported the on the activities of security industry lobbyists, the Cyber Security Industry Alliance, who have claimed that a preponderance of differing state laws makes data breach reporting costly to manage. The group has called for a simplification and nationalization of these requirements.

Although the report addressed these, and many of the other, issues Siciliano champions, he said government works too slowly to combat identity theft.

“Work to complete this report began nearly a year ago,” said Siciliano. “And now it will probably go through another year’s worth, at least, of committee hearings and debates in Congress before anything even remotely resembling it becomes law. In the meantime, thousands, maybe millions, of U.S. citizens have, or will have, fallen prey to identity thieves. A meaningful response to identity theft demands law enforcement initiatives rooted in law. But the system that gets us there is unable to get us there quickly enough.”

Recently, Siciliano appeared on CNBC to discuss credit and debit card scams. Readers may view his appearance here.


Identity theft affects us all. Robert Siciliano, CEO of and member of the Bank Fraud & IT Security Report’s editorial board, makes it his mission to provide consumer education solutions on identity theft to Fortune 500 companies and their clients.

A leader of personal safety and security seminars nationwide, Siciliano has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, “FOX News,” NBC’s “Today Show,” “The Suze Orman Show,” “The Montel Williams Show,” “Maury Povich,” “Sally Jesse Raphael,” “The Howard Stern Show,” and “Inside Edition.” The Privacy Learning Institute features him on its Website. Numerous magazines, print news outlets, and wire services have turned to him, as well, for expert commentary on personal security and identity theft. These include Entrepreneur, Woman’s Day, Mademoiselle, Good Housekeeping, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Times, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, United Press International, Reuters, and others.

Visit Siciliano’s Web site,; blog,; and YouTube page,

The media are encouraged to get in touch with Siciliano directly:

Robert Siciliano
Personal Security Expert
PHONE: 888-SICILIANO (742-4542)
FAX: 877-2-FAX-NOW (232-9669)

The media may also contact:

Brent W. Skinner, President
PHONE: 617-875-4859
FAX: 866-663-6557