Break-ins at large databases that hold Americans’ most sensitive personal information have grown severe enough in recent months to prompt a new wave of protective legislation by lawmakers at the state and federal level, reports the Christian Science Monitor. The bills are designed to address various aspects of the threat, but, as identity thieves find new ways to ply their trade, the efforts represent a daunting race against crime.
A form of legislation being considered in Massachusetts allows consumers to freeze third-party access to their credit reports. Ten states now have credit-freeze laws, with a New Jersey bill awaiting the promised signature of Gov. Richard Codey. While lauded by many consumer advocates, such measures hint at the challenges of combatting ID theft. Opponents say such laws are intrusive measures that clunk up business practices. Others question if any law can protect personal information from determined hackers.