Over 8 million Americans suffer identity theft every year. These folks suffer from being left with a bad credit report through no fault of their own in many cases. Though new Federal legislation is in the works to provide some type of restitution for these victims, it doesn’t seem to go far enough. Why should a person be punished if the theft was done through no fault of their own?

We have all read about the vast amount of information that is stolen every year from companies that contain databases on all of us. These companies who compile this information should be held responsible for protecting our identity and if they are responsible for the theft of our identity should be held totally responsible. This responsibility should also include the restoration of our credit history and payment for any charges made against our credit cards.

Though the bill before Congress addresses some of the issues, it still doesn’t go far enough in my opinion in protecting us. It seems like it only sets stiffer penalties and ups the ante to a felony under certain circumstances. Lets face it. The law is designed to support the victim only if the cyber criminal is caught. Nothing in the bill addresses the victim and how they can clear their identity and restore their credit history.

I recall several years ago speaking with a couple who had their identity stolen. They suspected it happened when they had applied for a home loan, though they were unable to prove it. What I found incredible was the fact that the credit card company said if they didn’t pay the $25k that had been charged against their credit card, that their credit would be ruined. I was surprised these these folks actually decided to pay. What about the crooks? Where is the responsibility in trying to locate the suspects and prosecuting them?

What do you think? Should laws be designed to protect the consumers once they prove their identity has been stolen?

Comments welcome.

[tags]federal, law, identity, theft, consumers, stolen, [/tags]