Zoeller, state AGs meet to find solutions to data breach, identity theft crisis 


    INDIANAPOLIS – Today and tomorrow Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller is meeting with state attorneys general from across the nation to discuss solutions to the rise in data breaches and identity theft-related crimes. This meeting comes in the wake of the data breach at Anthem, Inc., which is estimated to have compromised 4.5 million records belonging to Indiana residents alone.

    The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) conference is themed “Big Data: Challenges and Opportunities,” and will feature two days of panel discussions and expert presentations on current and developing cyber security risks, privacy concerns and best practices for state and national responses.

    Recent research by the Ponemon Institute estimates that 40 percent of companies experienced a data breach within the last year.

    Zoeller said cyber security and data protection are among the most pressing issues facing our nation and state today. In 2014, the Indiana Attorney General’s Office received more than 1,300 complaints of identity theft and 395 separate reports of data breaches.

    “We’re seeing new data breaches reported to our office almost every day, and it is creating a culture of fear among the public,” Zoeller said. “As more of our personal and financial data is being collected and stored online, we have to do more to keep it safe and now is the time to act.”

    Zoeller recommended the Indiana General Assembly pass legislation this year to provide better safeguards of peoples’ data. Senate Bill 413 would require data collectors to comply with safer data storage standards, such as deleting data that is no longer necessary for business purposes and refraining from selling data in a way that is inconsistent with consumer authorization or applicable law. It would also increase transparency and visibility of online privacy policies, and require collectors to tell consumers what data is being collected and how it will be used

    SB 413 has passed the Indiana Senate and is currently being considered by the Indiana House of Representatives.

    The Attorney General’s Identity Theft Unit was created in 2008 to help victims of identity theft, assist law enforcement in the investigation and prosecution of identity theft suspects, and review data breaches that impact Indiana consumers. The ID Theft Unit has helped to return $679,154 to Hoosiers harmed by identity theft or a data breach.

    Zoeller has long encouraged Hoosiers to guard against identity theft by signing up for a credit freeze, which is free in Indiana and offered through the Attorney General’s website at www.IndianaConsumer.com. Additionally, the Attorney General’s Outreach Division travels the state speaking with members of the public about identity theft protection. In 2014, the Division reached more than 60,000 people.

    Zoeller aims to share his efforts with his fellow attorneys general, as well as consider other ideas to tighten data protection and restore privacy.

    The NAAG conference is connecting state attorneys general with technology and data experts at global companies, such as Microsoft and UPS, as well as high ranking officials with the FBI and other government agencies. The conference is being held in Point Clear, Alabama. To view a full agenda of the conference, visit: http://www.naag.org/meetings-trainings/regional/southern-region-meeting-2015.php.

    For tips on how to guard against identity theft, how to detect it and what actions victims can take, visit www.IndianaConsumer.com/idtheft. To file an identity theft complaint with the Attorney General’s Office, visit www.IndianaConsumer.com or call 800-382-5516.


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