Who’s In Your Wallet?
By George Anderson
Forget about “What’s in your wallet?” With all the recent announcements that hackers have broken into company files to steal the personal information of what could be millions of consumers, many have got to be asking themselves, “Who’s in my wallet?”
DSW Shoe Warehouse is the latest to publicly announce hackers broke into its systems and made off with the credit card and personal shopping information that Kurt Douglass, a special agent with the Secret Service said could affect “hundreds of thousands.”
There’s no doubt that identity theft is a growing problem. According to Federal Trade Commission statistics, complaints of identity theft were up 19 percent in 2004. Individual consumers reported losing $547 million last year in identity theft cases.
Steven Baker, Midwest director for the Federal Trade Commission told The Chicago Tribune, “No matter how you cut it, this is a huge problem. It’s an epidemic.”
Ronald Allen, a professor at Northwestern University’s School of Law doesn’t see the situation improving either.
“Not to be flippant, but the future of identity theft is quite rosy,” he said. “As more and more information gets transmitted electronically, there are more and more opportunities for nefarious behavior, and the human condition being what it is, there will be more and more people to take advantage of it.”
Moderator’s Comment: What is the state of consumer information security in retailing at present? How is identity theft impacting retail operations and
the industry’s bottom line? –
George Anderson – Moderator
- ID theft toll is growing in
U.S. – The Chicago Tribune
- Shoe-store chain reports personal data was stolen – The Associated Press/St.