WASHINGTON, July 13, 2011 – Child ID Theft more commonly occurs via organized crime, but the most severe damage happens when done by family members, experts concluded at a joint Child ID Theft forum Tuesday.
Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice held the forum one day after hacktivist group ‘Anonymous’ attacked U.S. government security contractor, Booz Allen Hamilton, resulting in the theft of 90,000 military email addresses.
Five panels, which included government officials, data security industry professionals and child safety advocates discussed the realities of the problem and solutions for combating the Child ID Theft. Child ID Theft - in cases of poverty, substance abuse and child neglect by family members – occurs through using a child’s Social Security Number under an assumed identity in order to utilize the child’s credit.
The damage inflicted by family members is more severe than that committed by organized crime syndicates because of the emotional damage inflicted upon the child, said the panelists.
“Child ID Theft is real, but don’t panic - it is a problem that we’re starting to get visibility to,” said panelist Tom Oscherwitz, Chief Compliance and Privacy Officer at IDAnalytics, a credit identity and risk management company.
While legislative and law enforcement efforts can only react to the problem after it has happened, panelists and conference members stressed the importance of action taken in the realm of education and parental awareness. Panelists agreed that parents must take the protection of their children’s identities seriously, and they should teach their children about ID theft in the same way they are taught to not accept car rides from strangers.
“This is just part of Parenting 101 in the current day,” said Alan Simpson, Vice President of Policy for Common Sense Media, a family media education nonprofit corporation.
Child ID Theft is one part of the continued barrage of data security attacks on industry and government networks. Such events have brought significant media attention to weaknesses in network security, but attention a vigilant corporate culture must also be the norm for companies and government agencies nowadays.
“A successful, security-conscious culture is based on its adoption by each employee who believes that it is his/her right and duty to ensure the security envelope of the firm is protected and that no one is exempt from mature participation,” said panelist Richard Boyle, President and CEO of ECMC Group, nonprofit corporation specializing in higher education finance.