Checking in with a quick thought on the fallout from the ChoicePoint scandal, where criminals posing as businessmen scammed almost 140,000 consumer records from the credit report provider. It’s been a week, and people still seem to care about the story, so Congress is considering action. Members of both parties are saying that they need to do something, and Senate Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter (R-PA) has said today that his committee will hold a hearing, although he hasn’t specified when.
File this under short memory. Congress passed an amendment to the Fair Credit Reporting Act a year and a half ago that was designed to prevent this type of identity theft. The FACT Act, as the amendment is known, specifically focused on the credit bureaus like ChoicePoint. I don’t know enough about the ins and outs of the bill to know whether this is a case of bad policy, bad enforcement, or if the folks at ChoicePoint just really messed up. Not that these are mutually exclusive.