Editorial: ID theft bill is a good plan

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Victims of identity theft may soon have an easier time cleaning up their records, thanks to a united effort in the Minnesota Senate.

We applaud the bill from Sen. Dan Sparks of Austin, which would allow Minnesotans to put security freezes on their credit reports and control who gets the information. The bill passed the Senate earlier this week on a 65-0 vote.

Other provisions include a database of innocent victims of identity theft

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accessible to law enforcement; the ability for consumers to block portions of credit reports related to identity theft; and stronger notification requirements for business security breaches that could expose consumers to identity theft.

We’re glad legislators are making the growing problem of identity theft

a priority. The

crime affects people of all ages and all areas of the state, especially as technology becomes a bigger part of our daily lives.

The bill gives everyone more control over who gets their personal information, and helps them recover if that data does get into the wrong hands.

Credit card companies would have to verify applications if an address didn’t match up with the address they had on file. If the companies failed to do so, the customer wouldn’t have to pay.

No one should have to be a victim of identity theft. Rebuilding one’s life after having it stolen can take years. Giving Minnesotans the tools and knowledge they need to protect themselves from crimes like these is one of the best gifts our lawmakers can give this year.