In the News February 8, 2008

Duncan Douglass Quoted by Transaction World Magazine on Identity Theft

Duncan Douglass was quoted in the February 2008 issue of Transaction World Magazine in an article titled, “Identity Theft or Debt Relief,” that addresses the need for more identity theft legislation.

Douglass noted that legislators are focused on privacy/data security and credit card interest rate practice and that, “As the national and global economies transition to a marketplace increasingly dominated by electronic payment transactions, this is key.” He expressed concern, however that, “recent bad facts -- including the TJX mega data security breach and the looming consumer credit crunch -- will cause legislators to make bad laws in their election-year zeal to take voter-friendly action against the great evils of the electronic payments industry.”

Douglass also commented on the need for active rather than reactive policy and added, “hopefully all of the attention currently being paid in Washington to the electronic payments industry will not result in unfortunate knee-jerk legislation,” He noted that, “Financial data privacy and security and attendant identity theft, are high profile issues that are easy for legislators to battle,” and that, “The challenge, faced by the electronic payments industry on these issues is one of education—both of legislators and consumers.” He also pointed out that self-regulation must be publicized and industries must convince consumers and legislators that they are able to self-regulate, despite the increasing threats associated with electronic spending. He concluded by saying, “The electronic payments industry, which is emerging from its own Enron-like crisis (albeit on a much smaller scale), needs to take efforts quickly to avoid a Sarbanes-Oxley-like response from Congress.”

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