New Standards Panel to Coordinate Identity Theft Protection Standards Activities

NEW YORK, NY -- (AllPayNews) -- June 26, 2006 -- The American National Standards Institute (ANSI), in partnership with the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB), has announced its intent to establish a new standards panel to address identity theft prevention and identity management standards. Once formed, the Identity Theft Prevention and Identity Management Standards Panel would serve as a cross-sector coordinating body, applying use-case practices to promote and harmonize the timely development of voluntary consensus standards to minimize the scope and scale of identity theft. Identity theft is one of the fastest growing criminal activities in the United States, costing consumers and financial institutions upwards of $50 billion every year. Consumer groups, industry coalitions, independent corporations and government agencies have called for and are actively pursuing solutions and preventative strategies on this issue. "Voluntary consensus standards play a key role in addressing the critical needs of the nation," said S. Joe Bhatia, ANSI president and chief executive officer. "The proven success of the standards panel model could be an effective solution to aid in reducing the incidence of identity theft and enhancing fraud prevention." The Institute currently administers three standards panels in the areas of homeland security, nanotechnology, and healthcare information technology. The prospective panel would serve to identify existing published standards (and those in development) as they pertain to identity theft protection as well as identify areas of need where updated or newly developed standards would further minimize the threat of identity theft or enhance identity management. Standards pertinent to the panel's work may cover areas such as: -- Protocols for managing sensitive customer data -- Access, management, storage, and disposal; -- Employment records management, storage, access and disposal; -- Employee qualifications and training to handle sensitive data; -- Criteria for selecting contractors who use or maintain organizational data; -- Remedies to quickly recapture and restore the integrity of stolen identities or other personally-identifiable information; -- The possible utility of universal identifiers as a tool to combat identity theft and fraud; -- Protocols to anticipate new identity theft tactics as the marketplace continues to evolve. ANSI and CBBB are in the process of securing funding while gauging interest from a range of stakeholder groups including financial services, information technology providers and users, government agencies, consumer organizations, and many other public and private sector groups. Interested participants are encouraged to contact Brian Meincke, ANSI director of membership development (212-642-4940; bmeincke@ansi.org), Jim McCabe, director of consumer relations and public policy (212-642-8921; jmccabe@ansi.org) or Sally Munn, CBBB vice present of marketing and membership, (703-247-9358; smunn@cbbb.bbb.org). About ANSI ANSI is a private non-profit organization whose mission is to enhance U.S. global competitiveness and the American quality of life by promoting, facilitating, and safeguarding the integrity of the voluntary standardization and conformity assessment system. Its membership is comprised of businesses, professional societies and trade associations, standards developers, government agencies, and consumer and labor organizations. About CBBB The Council of Better Business Bureaus, based in Arlington, VA, is the umbrella organization for 130 local Better Business Bureaus (BBBs) across the US and Canada, and serves 400,000 business members nationwide. The Council and all local BBBs are private, non-profit organizations funded by businesses who actively support and promote trust in the marketplace. More information can be accessed at www.bbb.org. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Contact: Stacy Leistner ANSI (212) 642-4931 SOURCE: American National Standards Institute