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Agency Seeks Development of Tools to Thwart Identity Theft

On April 23 and 24, 2007, the Federal Trade Commission will host a public workshop, “Proof Positive: New Directions in ID Authentication,” to explore methods to reduce identity theft through enhanced authentication. The workshop will facilitate a discussion among public- sector, private-sector, and consumer representatives, and will focus on technological and policy requirements for developing better authentication processes, including the incorporation of privacy standards and consideration of consumer usability issues.

The agency is seeking public comments in planning the agenda for the workshop, and is inviting parties interested in participating as panelists to notify the agency. The agency invites comments on ways to improve authentication processes to reduce identity theft, including, but not limited to, comments on the following:

  • How can individuals prove their identities when establishing them in the first place?
  • What are some current or emerging authentication technologies or methods – for example biometrics, public key infrastructure, and knowledge-based authentication – and what are their strengths and weaknesses?
  • To what extent do these technologies meet consumer needs, such as ease of use, and to what extent do they raise privacy concerns?

Requests to participate as panelists must be received by March 9, 2007. Requests may be submitted electronically at; or by mail to the Office of the Secretary, Room H-135 (Annex N) 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580.

Comments also may be submitted by mail or on the Internet at Comments must be received by March 23, 2007.

Copies of the Federal Register Notice are available from the FTC’s Web site at and also from the FTC’s Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish or to get free information on any of 150 consumer topics, call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357), or use the complaint form at The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 1,600 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.


Claudia Bourne Farrell,
Office of Public Affairs


Naomi Lefkovitz,
Bureau of Consumer Protection

(FTC File No. P07 5402)