Identity safeguards help
The Buffalo News Opinion
Chris Hoofnagle, an expert in information privacy law and director of the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology’s information privacy programs, said individuals have had to present very little information in order to obtain credit accounts — and that it has been possible even to present fake information and obtain credit.
As Hoofnagle said, it remains to be seen what level of scrutiny will be applied. Authentication is based on a “reasonableness” standard, meaning creditors may use databases to verify identity. Those databases may be polluted with inaccurate information, especially for former victims of identity theft. The new rules help, but the heightened standards should be required in all cases where credit is granted.11/26/2008