Would you support a Taxpayer-Funded Program to Protect you from Identity Theft?

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A new study says that the average person would pay $87 a year to improve the security of personal information against identity theft. The authors say that proves Americans would support a taxpayer-funded program to protect us from identity theft. I say they couldn't be more wrong.

Do you trust the government to keep your personal and financial information safe from hackers and identity thieves? I wouldn't - not when so many of the popular identity theft techniques rely on misused government data!

Two criminologists at Florida State University, Nicole Leeper Piquero and Alex R. Piquero, conducted the study, along with Mark A. Cohen, a business law professor from Vanderbilt University who studies the cost of crime.

They found that two-thirds of respondents would be willing to pay for a program that reduced their risk of ID theft by 75 percent. "Our survey of households reveals that most individuals will agree to a small tax increase to support government-sponsored identity theft prevention efforts," said the study's leader, Nicole Leeper Piquero.

Really? Inmates steal income tax refunds, other people's Social Security numbers are routinely breached and then used to work here illegally or to obtain additional government  benefits from programs such as medicare and welfare. Government databases are often a main target of thieves! It wasn't too long ago the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs was affected by the theft of a device containing personal information on about 26.5 million veterans. There have been a significant number of government related data breaches that continue to alarm us.

To me, the study suggests that more people would sign up for the identity theft protection programs offered by private enterprise, if they only knew about them. Today's high-tech services already offer ID theft protection (not to be confused with credit monitoring) for about the same price - with additional benefits such as restoration help!

While credit card fraud remains the most common type of reported identity theft, emerging categories include government document fraud, benefits fraud, Income tax return fraud and medical identity theft. I don't see the wisdom in creating a taxpayer funded program that would remove our right to choose who, what, where, when and how we opt to protect our data, time and peace of mind.         
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This is a really helpful post for those who are still confused whether or not supporting a tax-payer funded program is for them.

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