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Identity Theft Victims of Choicepoint Data Breach May Now File Reimbursement Claims

Identity theft | Consumer Alert — The Federal Trade Commission has set up a new web site and phone number for identity theft victims of the Choicepoint data breach. The new site and phone number gives victims information on how to file claims for monetary reimbursement if out- of- pocket losses accrued as a result of the ID theft. A fund of $5 million is available to victims, the deadline for filing is February 4, 2007.

Department of Justice Proposes Making Changes to Routine Uses of its Systems and Databases; World Privacy Forum Files Comments on Problematic Privacy Act Issues with the Proposed Changes

Privacy Act of 1974 — The Department of Justice published a notice proposing to update the Routine Uses of its systems and databases under the Privacy Act of 1974. The proposal was not precise enough, and was written in such a way as to allow sensitive Privacy Act systems such as the Criminal Division Witness Security File (CRM-002), the Witness Immunity Records (CRM-022), and the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS, FBI-018) to be disclosed to almost anyone in certain circumstances, including to individuals working outside of law enforcement. The World Privacy Forum is requesting that the DOJ significantly tighten its language in the proposal, and to specify what individuals or entities may have access to these sensitive records, under what specific conditions. The World Privacy Forum is also requesting the DOJ republish all of its up-to-date system of records notices in their entirety immediately and at least every two years thereafter.

World Privacy Forum Comments on Proposed Policy for Genetic Database

Genetic privacy — Genome-wide association studies present complex and challenging privacy issues. The National Institutes of Health, in a published request for information, asked for public comment on its proposed policy regarding its support and management of a central genomic repository for genome-wide association studies. In comments filed with the National Institutes of Health, the World Privacy Forum raised concerns about the proposed NIH policy in the specific areas of genetic identifiability, secondary uses of the genetic data, oversight, legal protections, and informed consent.

World Privacy Forum Files Comments on a Proposed DHS rulemaking; asks the Department to make a Commitment to Transparency and Accountability

Privacy Act of 1974 — In response to a proposed Department of Homeland Security rulemaking regarding a system of records, the World Privacy Forum filed comments requesting changes. The primary objections are that the proposed system of records commingles records and functions, the proposed exemption is inconsistent with the system notice, and DHS’s proposed exemption from civil remedies was not correct, among other issues. The World Privacy Forum stated in its comments that the Department of Homeland Security should demonstrate its commitment to accountability and transparency in the rulemaking.

Public Comments: September 2006 Proposed Regulations on Identity Theft Red Flags and Address Discrepancies Under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003

Medical identity theft is both an information crime and a health crime. In this crime, a victim’s medical identity is stolen or appropriated in some way. Victims’ financial life may be impacted, and there may be other complicating factors. Medical identity theft occurs when someone uses a person’s name and sometimes other parts of their identity – such as a Social Security Number– without the victim’s knowledge or consent to obtain medical services or goods, or when someone uses an individual’s identity to obtain money by falsifying claims for medical services and falsifying medical records to support those claims.