One of the merchants I used in the past must have disclosed my card number inadvertently, which the task force takes to task in the first objective stated in its plan: "keeping sensitive consumer data out of the hands of identity thieves through better data security and more accessible education."
Companies should undoubtedly take better custody of sensitive data entrusted by their customers, which includes not only enforcing more effective data protection technologies such as encryption but also informing customers promptly when a disclosure happens.
The fact that a number of vendors did not confirm the identity of my defrauders suggests to me that some organizations are not currently heeding the second goal of the task force: "making it more difficult for identity thieves who obtain consumer data to use it to steal identities."
Thankfully, my loss was negligible, but for all who have had their finances, good name, and credit tarnished by ID theft, the task force's third and four goals -- "assisting the victims of identity theft in recovering from the crime" and "deterring identity theft by more aggressive prosecution and punishment of those who commit the crime," respectively -- are welcome objectives to be codified in law.
I have a new credit card now, but I certainly hope that this new legislation -- currently before Congress -- will live up to the goals stated by the task force. If anything, companies should get wise to the importance of implementing proper data security measures. Too much is at stake for us all.
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