September 2, 2003 7:10 PM PDT

Tech firms band together on ID theft

Some of the biggest names in e-commerce, including Amazon.com, eBay and Microsoft, have formed a coalition to curb online identity theft.

The Coalition on Online Identity Theft, announced Tuesday, said it plans to launch a public education campaign and encourage its members to work more closely with law enforcement officials in an effort to fight a crime that has emerged as a major concern among politicians and consumers in recent years. The group is being organized by the Information Technology Association of America, a trade group representing the high-tech industry.

"We all agree we want to do something about this and nip this in the bud," said Greg Garcia, vice president of information security at ITAA, claiming that a small percentage of identity theft cases actually begin online.

Statistics show that identity theft has moved well past the bud stage to reach the level of full-blown weed infestation in recent years. The number of U.S. consumers that complained about some sort of identity theft nearly doubled to 162,000 last year, according to the Federal Trade Commission. And government figures only scratch the surface, technology analyst firm Garter said. Gartner estimates that 3.4 percent of U.S. consumers--about 7 million adults--have been victims of identity theft of some form in the past year.

The formation of the group comes just two months after the passage of a California law that requires companies to report to consumers any incident that may have compromised their personal data. The ITAA and others oppose such laws, saying they place too big a burden on corporations and could have unintended consequences, such as scaring people from going online.

"A lot of this is about public education and awareness," Garcia said. "People can protect themselves."

Garcia said the passage of the bill in California and the introduction of a similar national bill helped the coalition gather steam. "The existence of that law certainly adds another reason as to why such a coalition needs to exist," Garcia said. "We want to be less reactive to policies that are not well thought out, like that one."

Yet some believe consumer education can only go so far, and that legislation may be necessary. Gartner says, for instance, that banks and credit-card companies are mishandling the problem by treating fraud as a cost of doing business rather than as a crime against their customers.

"There is a serious disconnect between the magnitude of identity theft that innocent consumers experience and the industry's proper recognition of the crime," said Gartner analyst Avivah Litan in a July report. "Without external pressure from legislators and industry associations, financial services providers may not have sufficient incentive to stem the flow of identity theft crimes."

Credit-card fraud accounted for 42 percent of the identity theft complaints to the FTC last year, according to the agency.

Visa International, the world's largest credit-card company and a member of the ITAA-led coalition, could not be immediately reached for comment.

eBay began waging a public awareness campaign of its own against so-called spoof sites. This rapidly proliferating form of online fraud--called phishing--involves imposter e-mails and Web sites that look like they are from legitimate companies such as eBay. When people enter their passwords, credit-card numbers and other personal information, a thief on the other end collects the information to make charges on customer credit cards.

Earlier this year, eBay teamed with the FTC and a number of states to tackle spoof sites and other online auction fraud. Central to the effort is a public awareness campaign called "Operation Bidder Beware." However, the spoof site problem seems only to have spread since then, with new scams reported at Best Buy and Citibank in the past few weeks alone.

"It's still fairly early," said Kevin Pursglove, an eBay spokesman, discussing the impact of Operation Bidder Beware. "The fact is that more companies are beginning to report (the crime), and perpetrators believe there is gain to be had. There are probably more individual perpetrators behind this than there were a year ago."

The ITAA plans to push its members to share more information with government investigators and one another when they detect identity theft, Garcia said. Many companies have been loath to report such incidents to the police, fearing negative publicity should the media pick up the story. Garcia said he didn't know how the coalition could completely overcome that obstacle, but said it has already done something about it.

The ITAA was behind a provision in the federal Homeland Security Act, which is now law, that exempts information related to "critical infrastructure" from Freedom of Information Act requests by journalists, Garcia said. That includes information businesses report to the government, such as cybercrimes.

Is ITAA interested in extending the exemption to matters related to commerce in addition critical infrastructure? "I don?t know," Garcia said. "We're not advancing specific ideas just yet, but it's all ripe for conversation."

CNET News.com's Robert Lemos contributed to this report.

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I agree that this was a good thing to do...
Update to ID Theft Protection Marketplace?

IDPixie LLC CEO, Mr. Abdul Tawala Ibn Ali Alishtari, has a solution the FFIEC needs for top level of US authentication under NIST standards. IDPixie LLC products take ID offline via wireless or using an offline device. IDPixie LLC?s team developed the best way to get royalties while serving the 4 trillion swipes of credit or debit cards in the USA in 2007. This product takes private ID off the Internet by using single use credit card numbers plus external devices. Thus, whomever else does this is in violation of patent.

IDPixie LLC owns EDI Secure LLLP that in 2003 was granted by the US a patent to keep private ID off the Internet. That means every time a debit or credit card is swiped, IDPixie LLC can legally charge 25 cents or more to protect US bank depositors regardless of who does it like major banks or card suppliers. This means 4 trillion US swipes a year equals $1 trillion USD per year income. All banks are taking ID off the Internet by FFIEC mandate in 2007. So even if they violate the patent, they must pay IDPixie LLC eventually in the billions of dollars USD.

Wall Street gurus went crazy over this. IDPixie LLC offers from investors for over $100 million USD to steal the company. Mr. Alishtari built bank security systems in six nations and the Caribbean. His family advised 4 US Presidents. He fended off hostile investors and attempts to destroy value to trying to force a sale but IDPixie LLC is intact.

If IDPixie LLC only gets 20% market collection and protection while owning US patent for the next 16 1/2 years, that generates $250 billion within 5 years gross per year. This is not an investment offer nor is it an offer for securities in areas or regions where such bans apply. It is only an update to company progress and protections since 2003.

This is IDPixie LLC?s exclusive royalty is granted by the United States Patent Trademark Office, USPTO. The same technicians who built platforms to all US standards in 2000 build this platform. We utilize a closely held patent, granted to EDI Secure LLLP and now assigned to IDPixie LLC on the single use credit card number using an offline device. This patents was granted in July 22, 2003 to a predecessor company now owned by IDPixie LLC. That patent number is US 6,598.031 B1 to Mr. Jeffrey Ice, Inventor, for "APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR ROUTING ENCRYPTED TRANSACTION CARD IDENTIFYING DATA THROUGH A PUBLIC TELEPHONE NETWORK" i.e. Internet, phones or any electronic medium in the US of A.

My Pledge

I, Mr. Abdul Tawala Ibn Ali Alishtari, pledge my Foundation to halt child slavery activities including my charity, the Global Peace Film Festival, Inc., at www.peacefilmfest.org. I pledge moral support of legal, peaceful activities and my non-profit gifts offshore, onshore and globally, primarily with philanthropy from my personal investment to help halt all fraud, violence and scams hurting innocent children, women and families so help me God.

Sincerely

Abdul Tawala Ibn Ali Alishtari
Posted by Abdul Tawala Ibn Ali Ali (53 comments )
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A mix of education and legislation is necessary to fight identity theft.

With the passage of credit freeze laws by many states and the recent announcement of TransUnion to work with third parties to offer credit freezes; a great deal of progress has been made.

Identity theft prevention and recovery resources are available completely free at www.insideIDtheft.info
Several ?how to? style videos demonstrate effective techniques for the do it yourself crowd.
Posted by identity-theft-expert (2 comments )
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