Privacy, Security, and Identity Theft Protection: Advances and Trends

Privacy, Security, and Identity Theft Protection: Advances and Trends

Guillermo A. Francia III, Frances Shannon Hutchinson, Xavier Paris Francia
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-7381-6.ch007
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The proliferation of the Internet has intensified the privacy protection and identity theft crises. A December 2013 report by the U.S. Department of Justice indicates that 16.6 million persons were victims of identity theft with direct and indirect losses amounting to almost $24.7 billion in 2012 (Harrell & Langton, 2013). These startling and apparently persistent statistics have prompted the United States and other foreign governments to initiate strategic plans and to enact several regulations in order to curb the crisis. This chapter surveys recently enacted national and international laws pertaining to identity theft and privacy issues. Further, it discusses the interplay between privacy and security, the various incentives and deterrence for privacy protection, and the prospects for the simulation of the social and behavioral aspects of privacy using the agent-based modeling.
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Identity theft is a threat that has confounded society since the biblical times. The ubiquity of the Internet and the convenience of electronic transactions have exacerbated the threat and made it even much easier to execute. A most recent report by the Department of Justice indicates staggering losses amounting to almost $25 billion incurred due to almost 17 million cases of identity theft losses (Harrell & Langton, 2013). Snapshots of several alarming statistics, which are gathered from the same source and are pertinent to identity theft, are shown in Figure 1 and Table 1. Figure 1 depicts the allocation of ID thefts by type. The inner chart further breaks the existing account slice into three categories: credit card, bank account, and other account.

Figure 1.

Types of identity theft

Table 1.
Actions taken to reduce the risk of ID theft
Action TakenPercentage
Checked credit report37.9
Changed passwords on financial accounts28.6
Purchased identity theft insurance/credit monitoring service5.3
Shredded/destroyed documents with personal information67.4
Checked bank or credit statements74.8
Used identity theft security program on computer16.6
Purchased identity theft protection3.5

(Harrell & Langton, 2013).

Table 1 shows the actions taken by individuals to reduce their risk of identity theft. Note the alarming percentage of people using an ID theft protection service.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Privacy: The state of being free of infringement.

Personally Identifiable Information: Any personal information by which an individual may be identified (SSN, bank account number, username/password combination, etc.).

Compliance: The act of being in conformity with official regulations.

Policy Compliance: A goal set by an organization in its attempt to encourage and achieve compliance by its members/employees with regard to the organization’s policies.

Regulatory Compliance: A goal set by an organization in its attempt to comply with all laws or regulations relevant to that organization.

Identity theft: The fraudulent use of another person’s personal information.

Security: The state being of being safe from danger.

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