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Abstract

This document describes the results of a study carried out by the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission. The work has been performed by the Institute of the Protection and Security of the Citizens (IPSC) in the framework of the JRC's institutional research programme in the area of cyber-security.

The term "identity theft" has come into use quite recently, to describe a particularly pernicious form of the familiar criminal activity of passing oneself off as somebody else. Identity theft, in what this paper is called its 'paradigm' form, occurs when one person � in this study a "rogue" � obtains data or documents belonging to another � the victim � and then passes himself off as the victim. The misappropriated data could include some ar all of: full name and date of birth, credit card number and expiry date, passport number, computer password, social security number (especially in the United States, where the term "identity theft" is most used), while the documents could include identifying documents such as a passport or a driver's licence, but can also include such items a s electricity bills or even delivered envelopes � essentially anything which suffices to convince some other authority or company that the rogue is indeed the victim.

The objectives of this study are to analyse the set of activities, criminal and other, which come under the term "identity theft", with a view to identifying issues relevant for public policy in the EU Member States and accession countries, whether at EU or national level. While the study looks at the phenomenon of identity theft in general, the focus of attention is on the relationship between identity theft and technological development, in particular identity theft as it affects, and is affected by, the on-line environment.

Additional information

Authors: MITCHISON N, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for the Protection and the Security of the Citizen, Ispra (IT);WILIKENS M, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for the Protection and the Security of the Citizen, Ispra (IT);BREITENBACH L, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for the Protection and the Security of the Citizen, Ispra (IT);URRY R, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for the Protection and the Security of the Citizen, Ispra (IT);PORTESI S, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for the Protection and the Security of the Citizen, Ispra (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 21098 EN (2004), 33 pp. Free of charge
Availability: Available from European Commission, JRC Knowledge Management Unit, Ispra (IT) Tel: +39 033278 9893 Fax: +39 033278 5409 E-mail: jrc-publications-office@ec.europa.eu or Bruxelles (BE) Tel: +32 2 295 76 24 Fax: +32 2 299 63 22
Record Number: 200417574 / Last updated on: 2004-06-22
Category: PUBLICATION
Original language: en
Available languages: en
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