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Banks to share ID theft data with FTC

Identity Theft Assistance Center says pooled information on ID theft cases should help law enforcement catch ID thieves.

In an effort to help catch identity thieves, banks will provide information on cases of identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission, the Identity Theft Assistance Center said Tuesday. For years, banks, credit card issuers and other financial services companies have shared information one-on-one with law enforcement, but this is the first time the industry has pooled its data and provided it to the FTC, according to ITAC.

ITAC was established by the financial services industry to help victims of identity theft. Data provided by the organization will go into the FTC's Consumer Sentinel database, which is used by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to find and prosecute identity thieves, according to the FTC. The number of ID theft victims has actually decreased in recent years. A spring 2003 study by the FTC found that 10.1 million people, or 4.6 percent of the adult U.S. population, were the victims of ID fraud. In an identical study 18 months later, 9.3 million people, or 4.25 percent of the population, had been hit by such crime, according to Javelin Strategy & Research.