A bill (S. 2168) introduced by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) that would increase penalties for identity theft has been approved by the Senate and is now pending in the House Judiciary Committee.
The bill would provide restitution for victims of identity theft for the time spent dealing with the issue as well as actual monetary damages. The bill would also expand the identity theft laws to include organizations that are victimized rather than just individuals as under current law. Such damages could be paid for using criminal and civil forfeitures of property used to commit computer fraud offenses.
A recent report jointly conducted by Experian and the Ponemon Institute surveyed consumers who were victims of data breaches. In the report, The Aftermath of a Mega Data Breach: Consumer Sentiment, 63 percent of consumers said they believe the company where the data breach occurred should be obligated to provide identity theft protection to affected parties, and 67 percent wanted compensation such as cash, products, or services.