Will a National ID Card Prevent Identity Theft?
Identity Theft Expert Robert Siciliano
In a word, no. A national ID card, on its own, will not prevent all forms of identity theft. In order for new account fraud to be entirely avoidable, a number of other factors would have to come into play, effectively establishing accountability through identity proofing. Effective identity proofing is also necessary in order to reliably prevent medical and criminal identity theft.
As you might have guessed, identity proofing simply means proving that individuals are who they say they are. Identity proofing often begins with personal questions, like the name of a first grade teacher or the make and model of a first vehicle, that only the actual person would be able to answer. Of course, this technique is not foolproof, and now that personal information is so readily available over the Internet, knowledge-based authentication is probably on its way to extinction. The next step is documentation, such as a copy of a utility bill or a mortgage statement. These types of identifying documents can be scavenged from the trash, but they are more effective proof when combines with personal questions. Biometric features, such as fingerprints or iris scans, can help further authenticate an individual’s identity.
Identity scoring is another effective identity proofing method. An identity score is a system for tagging and verifying the legitimacy of an individual’s public identity. Identity scores are being used to prevent fraud in business and to verify and correct public records. Identity scores incorporate a broad set of consumer data, including components such as personal identifiers, public and government records, Internet data, corporate data, predicted behavior patterns based on empiric data, self-assessed behavior patterns, and credit records.
USA Today reports that in the four years since Congress enacted the Real ID Act, which was intended to make it more difficult to obtain a fraudulent driver’s license, the act has languished due to opposition from several states. Real ID supporters say it will not only deter terrorism but also reduce identity theft, curb illegal immigration and reduce underage drinking, all by making the nation’s identification-of-choice more secure. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is proposing the repeal of the Real ID Act.
The Real ID Act has many provisions that are forms of identity proofing along with the potential for biometrics across the board. When Indiana checked its six million drivers against a Social Security database, it ended up invalidating 19,000 licenses that didn’t match. When Indiana began using “facial recognition” technology to make its photos secure, the state caught a man who had 149 licenses with the same photo but different names.
Is Napolitano moving backwards or forwards? Do your research and decide for yourself.
Protect yourself from identity theft;
1. Get a credit freeze. Go online now and search “credit freeze” or “security freeze” and go to consumersunion.org and follow the steps for the state you live in. This is an absolutely necessary tool to secure your credit. In most cases it prevents new accounts from being opened in your name.
2. Invest in Intelius Identity Protect. While not all forms of identity theft can be prevented, you can effectively manage your personal identifying information by knowing what’s buzzing out there in regards to YOU.
Personal Identity Profile – Find out if you’re at risk for identity theft with a detailed report of your identity information, including a current credit report, address history, aliases, and more.
24/7 Identity Monitoring and Alerts – Prevent identity theft with automatic monitoring that scans billions of public records daily and alerts you to suspicious activity.
Identity Recovery Assistance – Let professionals help you recover your identity if you ever become a victim of identity theft.
Identity Theft Speaker Robert Siciliano discussing identity theft on Fox News