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Weekly Roundup of Identity Theft and Data Security News

Weekly Roundup of Identity Theft and Data Security News
July 5, 2013
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This week the courts grappled with the legality of tracking cell phone locations of criminal suspects without a warrant. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants requested changes to a Senate bill that aims to protect against identity theft and tax fraud. Online advertisers scrambled to adhere to new federal privacy protection rules aimed at young Internet users.

Warrant Needed?

Judges have been offering mixed rulings on whether federal law enforcement officials need warrants to track a criminal suspect's cell phone location, Wired reported this week. A year and a half ago, the Supreme Court said officers needed "probable-cause" warrants from a judge to plant a GPS device on a suspect's vehicle, but no such ruling has been offered for cell phone tracking. A decision on the data privacy and security issue is not expected any time soon, either, according to Wired.

New COPPA Rules

This week, the Federal Trade Commission's new privacy protection rules took effect. The new requirements of the Child Online Privacy Protection Act Rule call for advertisers to get an age verification on a child Internet user and the child's parental consent to a website before an ad can be displayed. This means advertisers cannot secretly track the online browsing history of children ages 13 and under to target specifics ads, USA Today reported. Supporters of the new rules say this is a big win for parents and a victory for privacy rights on the Internet.

AICPA Asks For Tougher Penalties in Senate Bill

The American Institute of CPAs recently sent a letter to the Senate Finance Committee regarding the Identity Theft and Tax Fraud Prevention Act of 2013. The bill aims to prevent tax-related identity theft and tax fraud. However, the AICPA wants to add a new criminal penalty to the bill for those who use a false identity to conduct tax fraud, Accounting Today reported. The penalty includes a maximum fine of $250,000 and a prison sentence of five years. Current penalties in the bill are not strong enough to deter tax fraud, the AICPA said.

Cyber Attacks More Serious Than Physical Attacks, Survey Says

Results of a new survey were announced this week and showed that almost 80 percent of IT professionals around the world think cyberattacks pose a greater threat to their organization than actual physical attacks. The survey by Enterprise Innovation included 989 participants, which also determined that 61 percent of IT executives think the government could do more to protect critical infrastructure against advances cyberattacks. These online attacks can disrupt national financial systems, harm a company's infrastructure and severely damage a business and the economy, Asian News International reported.

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