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Obama announces proposals to combat identity theft

By Andrew V. Pestano
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Obama announces proposals to combat identity theft
President Barack Obama talks about his plan to improve confidence in technology by tackling identity theft and improving consumer and students privacy at the Federal Trade Commissions offices in Washington, D.C. Photo by Aude Guerrucci/Pool | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Jan. 12 (UPI) -- President Barack Obama announced plans Monday to push legislation to combat identity theft and protect the personal data of shoppers and students.

Ahead of his State of the Union address on Jan. 20, Obama announced a proposed Personal Data Notification & Protection Act at the Federal Trade Commission offices, the White House said in a statement.

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The proposal would create a national standard to force companies to notify customers within 30 days when there has been a data breach and also criminalizes illicit overseas trade in identities.

To further prevent identity theft, JPMorganChase and Bank of America would join the growing list of companies that give free credit scores to their customers. More than half of adult Americans would be able to identify possible attempts of identity theft through the deal.

Cybersecurity threats and identity theft have led 9 in 10 Americans to feel they lost control of their personal information, which leads to "less interaction with technology, less innovation, and a less productive economy," the statement said.

The president also announced a proposal, the Student Digital Privacy Act, that would restrict data collected from students for educational uses only. It would prohibit companies from selling student data and prohibit targeting students with advertising from data gathered in school.

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New voluntary guidelines to protect electricity customer data, such as energy usage, are set to be released by the Department of Energy, as well.

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