Legislators hope 'Passport' will help ID theft victims get lives back

Two Republican legislators hope a special "Identity Theft Passport" will help victims of ID theft prove who they are after an attack. We asked experts if it would work. http://kare11.tv/2yOgUuB

MINNEAPOLIS - October is Cyber Security Awareness Month and Governor Dayton kicked off an international Cyber Security Summit in Minneapolis on Tuesday by arguing for more funding to keep residents and state data safe from future threats.

"In state government we have a lot of work to do to get where we need to be," Dayton said.

Shortly after Dayton's remarks, two Republican legislators at the the state capitol unveiled their plans to introduce legislation that will help victims of past cyber security breaches get their lives back.

"The problem with identity theft is it can take months or years for a person to recover," said Representative Duane Quam, the man behind the legislation, which has support from Senator David Senjem of Rochester.

Quam says he's been looking for a way to help victims of identity theft ever since the Target data breach in 2013, but it wasn't until Minnesota finally signed on to Real ID that he says a potential solution emerged. The bill would create an Identity Theft Passport that Quom says victims could sign up for to help them get their lives back.

He says the framework and implementation of the passport would be determined with the Department of Public Safety and the Department of Commerce during the legislative process.

"Maybe it's something like a driver's license with an emblem on it, but it has some biometrics so that if you go to a bank, you can scan a barcode, your face will come up, some way you can say, 'Hey, it's me,'" Quom said.

KARE 11 took the proposal to some cyber security experts at the summit and they said there are some very big questions still unanswered, which come with big challenges.

"For example, will that state level ID be allowed to be used, recognized, by other states?" said Evan Wolff, leader of privacy and cyber security for Crowell & Moring. "So if they are going from Minnesota to New York would that ID be recognizable? Could it be used by other states? That's where, really, the challenges occur. That's why we really need to have a federal approach."

Rep. Quom says that should be all the more reason to try something.

"The excuse of, 'Oh, we'll just wait for the feds to do it.' I think a lot of us are seeing the pain caused by waiting for the feds to do other things," Quom said.

Even if a passport proves too difficult, Quom says the conversation and debate are needed. That's something industry experts agree with.

"I think that you would ask 800 leaders at this cyber security summit and all of the would agree, whatever party they're in," said Andrew Borene, Former Chairman of the Cyber Security Summit. "Bipartisan support is vital."

© 2017 KARE-TV


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