Feeds

MPs call for ID theft czar

October revolution aims to topple cybercrime kingpins

High performance access to file storage

UK politicians are calling for the creation of an identity theft "czar" to lead the fight against the growing form of crime.

The Parliamentary All Party Group on Identity Fraud said the role is needed to co-ordinate work by the government, police, and private sector.

The committee of MPs also want police to appoint dedicated identity fraud officers and want to see a government-backed identity fraud awareness campaign, aimed in particular at young adults, a group reckoned to be particularly careless in disposing of bank statements and credit card receipts. MPs suggested social networking websites such as Facebook and MySpace might provide a suitable venue for getting the message across.

Hmmm.

Industry, most notably the banking sector, has being active for years in advising on steps to safeguard against ID theft. When the government talks about identity theft it's usually in terms of justifying the supposed need for an identity card scheme.

Appointing dedicated identity fraud officers appears to be even more of a non-starter. Last April police stopped taking reports of credit card fraud, instead advising victims to report crimes to their bank. Police resources are stretched, at the best of times, and resources in the investigation of cybercrime (with a few notable exceptions) tend to get pushed towards identifying and dealing with the victims and perpetrators of child abuse.

Last year more than 170,000 cases of identity fraud were logged. The crime is reckoned to cost the economy approximately £1.7bn a year, the BBC reports. MPs in the committee, which was convened last year, urged tougher sanctions against organisations that place people's personal data in danger.

Nigel Evans, chair of the group, said: "Throughout the course of this study the group has been stunned by the damage identity fraud is having on the lives of our constituents across the country. Identity fraudsters have had it too easy for too long."

Explaining the need for a publicity campaign and greater police action, Evans told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "A third of people throw out sensitive material without so much as tearing it in half, and there is such a thing as bin raiding... 22 of 36 police forces in England don't have ID fraud in their local policing plan."

UK fraud protection body CIFAS reckons only one in 100 cases of ID thefts are investigated by police.

But Sandra Quinn, of banking industry association APACS, expressed doubts about whether an ID theft czar to co-ordinate policy would help. "What we are really looking for is all industries working together and that has to be the solution to the problem," she said.

Publication of the MPs' report coincides with the National Identity Fraud Prevention Week, which begins on Monday. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released
File under 'this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me'
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Experian subsidiary faces MEGA-PROBE for 'selling consumer data to fraudster'
US attorneys general roll up sleeves, snap on gloves
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.