Tech Trends: Americans seek legislative protection from identity theft
More than 40 million credit cards handled by an Atlanta-based card-processing company have been exposed to fraud. Information from approximately 13.9 million MasterCard brand cards and 20 million Visa cards may have been stolen from systems used by third-party processing company CardSystems Solutions. Cards from other brands such as Discover and American Express may also have been vulnerable. Names, account numbers, and verification codes were exposed, but Social Security numbers were not.
CardSystems admitted the security breach and said it was cooperating with an FBI investigation into the matter.
This hack attack comes on the heels of a slew of security lapses at Citigroup, Bank of America, and Time Warner, among others. Results from a survey released last week by the Cyber Security Industry Alliance, a public policy group focused on cybersecurity issues, show that Americans are increasingly concerned about identity theft and that they believe Congress isn't doing enough to prevent it. Among the findings:
- Ninety-seven percent of voters rate identity theft as a serious problem.
- Forty-eight percent indicate they avoid making online purchases for fear of exposing their financial information to fraud.
- Seventy-one percent of voters believe Congress needs to enact new laws to protect consumer privacy on the Internet.
- Despite this plea for legislative protection, more voters trust consumer groups such as the Better Business Bureau to effectively shield information online (63 percent) than Congress (32 percent).
In a separate survey of 400 senior-level professionals in and around Washington, D.C., iQ Research and Consulting found that 80 percent believe Congress has not done enough to protect Social Security information and that three quarters of those surveyed say the same about financial data and credit card information. The study was commissioned by RSA Security and Adobe Systems.
More information about the Cyber Security Industry Alliance study is available at www.csialliance.org