Congress Renews Interest in Identity Theft

By Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- Responding to outrage from consumers whose personal information has been stolen from companies, Congress is primed to pass new laws to try to prevent break-ins and to require businesses to confess to customers when private data is taken.

The government's new interest in requiring such embarrassing disclosures reverses years of efforts by the FBI and U.S. prosecutors to shield corporations that have been victims of hackers from bad publicity by keeping such crimes out of headlines.

But now, consumers want to know if their private information has been stolen.

The Senate is considering at least two proposals to crack down on companies suffering breaches of private customer information. The Federal Trade Commission's chairwoman has endorsed the idea and the Senate Judiciary Committee's chairman hinted this week that a new law might be inevitable.

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Monty Solomon
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