Even though we all know what identity theft is, I thought I’d revisit some important definitions including federal law.
Federal Trade Commission (ftc.gov):
"Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information without your permission to commit fraud or other crimes."
U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Fraud Section (usdoj.gov):
"Identity theft and identity fraud are terms used to refer to all types of crime in which someone wrongfully obtains and uses another person's personal data in some way that involves fraud or deception, typically for economic gain."
Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act of 1998, Title 18 Part 1 Chapter 47 US Code §1028(a)(7):
"Identity theft is a criminal offense. It occurs when a person knowingly transfers or uses, without lawful authority, a means of identification of another person with the intent to commit or to aid or abet any unlawful activity that constitutes a violation of federal law or that constitutes a felony under any applicable state or local law."
California Penal Code section 530.5:
"It is a felony in California to use the personal identifying information of another person without the authorization of that person for any unlawful purpose including to obtain credit, goods, services, or medical information."
Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (FACTA), Title 15 Chapter 41 Subchapter III US Code §1681a(q)(3):
The term “identity theft” means a fraud committed using the identifying information of another person, subject to such further definition as the [Federal Trade Commission] may prescribe, by regulation.
Pursuant to FACTA, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has recently proposed this more specific definition:
(a) The term “identity theft” means a fraud committed or attempted using the identifying information of another person without lawful authority.
(b) The term “identifying information” means any name or number that may be used, alone or in conjunction with any other information, to identify a specific individual, including any-
(1) Name, social security number, date of birth, official State or government issued driver's license or identification number, alien registration number, government passport number, employer or taxpayer identification number;
(2) Unique biometric data, such as fingerprint, voice print, retina or iris image, or other unique physical representation;
(3) Unique electronic identification number, address, or routing code; or
(4) Telecommunication identifying information or access device.