US Federal agency urges authentication of all consumer accounts

US Federal agency urges authentication of all consumer accounts

The Federal Trade Commission is calling on the US Government to extend two-factor authentication standards deployed by banks to all private sector organisations that maintain consumer accounts, in a bid to combat rising levels of ID fraud.

In a report published late Thursday, the FTC recommends that Congress consider taking action to strengthen the procedures that private-sector organisations use to authenticate their customers' identities.

"Identity theft continues to be a major problem in this country, with victims numbering in the millions each year and out-of-pocket losses (primarily to businesses) in the billions of dollars," the report states.

The FTC report states that adopting nationwide standards for how businesses and other organisations verify the identity of new and existing customers would make it harder for identity thieves to use social security numbers and other stolen information to commit fraud.

Currently, the only private-sector organisations subject to nationwide authentication standards are financial institutions regulated by the federal banking agencies. The FTC's report recommends that Congress consider establishing similar standards to cover all private-sector entities that maintain consumer accounts.

Such standards would require organisations to adopt reasonable procedures for authenticating customers, but also would allow them to adopt a programme that is compatible with their size and the nature of their business, the report states.

Read the full report:Download the document now 785.5 kb (PDF File)

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