Attorney General Phil Weiser joins bipartisan effort urging Federal Trade Commission to continue, strengthen rules to protect consumers from identity theft
Feb. 13, 2019 (DENVER, Colo.) — Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser has joined a bipartisan coalition of 31 attorneys general in urging the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to continue its identity theft rules which, since their enactment in 2007, have protected consumers from data breaches.
In a letter arguing for a continuation of these rules, Weiser cites the technological advances made by identity thieves and the proliferation of identity theft as reasons to keep the existing protections in place. In 2017, some 16.7 million U.S. consumers were victims of identity theft, with fraudsters stealing roughly $16.8 billion from consumers. In Colorado alone, under a new state consumer data protection law that went into effect in September 2018, there have been 33 data breaches reported to the Attorney General, affecting at least 91,235 Coloradans. Repeal of the current federal rules would leave consumers more vulnerable to identify theft, argues Weiser.
“The FTC’s current identity theft rules are critical in helping us manage the risk and limit the harms from data breaches. Renewing and strengthening these protections is critical to guarding Coloradans from the ever-growing problem of data breaches,” said Weiser.
Financial institutions and creditors are uniquely positioned to help detect, deter, and prevent identity theft. The current rules require certain financial institutions, such as those who issue credit cards, to implement reasonable safeguards to prevent identity theft. These entities have taken important steps in stopping fraudulent accounts from being opened. The letter recommends an additional requirement that cardholders be notified by email or cell phone if an email address or cell phone number is changed. Currently, notification by mail is the only requirement. The attorneys general also ask that account access from previously unknown devices as well as repeated unsuccessful access attempts be treated as suspicious activity.
In addition to Colorado, the letter was also signed by the attorneys general for Alaska, California, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.
The Attorneys General letter to the FTC can be read here.
Lawrence Pacheco, Director of Communications
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