With the digital medium putting down roots and expanding its reach into more and more aspects of everyday life, the risk of identity theft is increasingly of concern and increasingly hard to keep pace with, prevent and reverse. There are deep worries —expressed by every expert from privacy advocates, to civil rights lawyers to Microsoft and its founder Bill Gates— that the use of biometric markers for real-world identification will lead to an irreversibility problem and radical incentivization for identity thieves and fraudsters.
Countering the rise of a global black market in stolen identities will require not just bold, innovative thinking, but a comprehensive awareness of the nature of media hyper-convergence, and the ways in which that process will affect our ability to interact with, judge, manipulate and keep safe from, the world around us. Standardization and atomization both present opportunities for would-be identity thieves, and so the major pro-consumer model must be centered on getting ahead and staying ahead, technologically, of those who seek to steal and misuse personal identity, whether digital, biometric or analog (like one’s signature).
Share the best practices and legal remedies for preventing identity theft, whether by digital means or wireless harvesting, or in the physical realm of paper, plastic and voice. What laws give consumers leverage in reversing fraudulent charges? What pending legislation will do the most to help protect the sanctity of individual identity? How can we leverage consumer technologies to protect against the most aggressive, innovative attackers? What can the credit scoring universe do to assist and protect consumers?
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Originally published April 19, 2010, at TheHotSpring.net