Congressional Doofuses Don’t Know What To Do About Identity Theft

At this point, the government has lost the identity of pretty much everyone in the United States. Every citizen right now will likely find a Serbian clone using his social security number six thousand miles away. After all, federal employees have lost almost two thousand laptops in the last 5 years alone.

In response to their own hysterically tragic incompetency, Representative Tom Davis has put forward a bill called “The Federal Agency Data Breach Protection Act” that aims to clamp down on data theft. How? The act itself has no flippin’ clue: all it suggests is that they “institute procedures” for agencies to follow in the event of data breaches.

But at least the Feds agree that victims should be informed when their identities have been stolen. How soon after the crisis? What liabilities will the government have? Posh, those are details, my son.

We’d sneer at this vague list of common sense guidelines if it weren’t for the fact that this might be the first time common sense has been committed to paper in the history of Congress. Still, if you idiots can’t remember to bring your laptops off the airplane with you, maybe you at least ought to take a stab at a real list of measures to take when that laptop ends up on

Data Breach Bill Does Little [Consumer Affairs]


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  1. RLFortin says:

    Doofusses into Congress and Doofusses is what you get coming out, something similar to Garbage in Garbage out.

  2. FMF says:

    The fact that Congress is dragging it’s feet on this issue is mind-blowing:

    *ID theft impacts a large number of people in a substantial way.

    *ID theft calls into question the accuracy of our financial system.

    *It’s not the most complicated criminal activity to prohibit.

    The reason it’s taking so long (in my opinion): much of the costs of managing/protecting people against it belongs to big businesses who don’t want to pay for security.

    As for the government officials who can’t keep track of their laptops, maybe we place their personal information on their laptops — on the wallpaper of the desktop. Maybe then they’ll be a bit more careful with their computers.

  3. Easy solution: Institute the same policies that are in use for HIPAA across the board for all federal databases that have any kind of private personally identifiable information.

  4. Triteon says:

    Maybe we could pin the laptops to our governmental employees’ sleeves.

  5. formergr says:

    To something_amazing:

    There have been 19,420 HIPAA complaints to date, and *none* have resulted in a civil fine from Health & Human Services, and only 2 were presecuted for criminal violations.

    So instituting HIPAA-like policies will only work if they are accompanied by actual enforcement…

  6. The_Truth says:

    HIPAA: hahahaha…. The policies for HIPAA are great, but they lack any sort of real enforcement.

    Its far far too easy to get out of a HIPAA violation.

    At the end of the day wewont see any real change until a major politician has his identity stolen and the credit companies treat him/her the same as the rest of us in removing the offending info from their credit report.

    Unfortunatly that not going to happen. Which is a shame.

  7. Mr. Gunn says:

    Look, people still lose millions of dollars a year to 419 scams. The people who do this are the same people who vote for our elected officials. The elected officials are therefore mostly old dudes who grew up with black and white TVs. As people who understand the internet grow up, they’re going to start running for office and being elected by people who grew up understanding the internet. By then we’ll be onto some other problem that they’re too old to understand. The only way out of this that I can see is to lower the mandatory retirement age of elected officials. Think that measure’ll pass?

  8. Triteon says:

    “The only way out of this that I can see is to lower the mandatory retirement age of elected officials. Think that measure’ll pass?”
    Grady– never, and it shouldn’t. Ageism isn’t the answer. I want to know– where are the people “in the know” who should be testifying before Congress? You sound like an intelligent guy…have you written to your Congressman or Senator yet?