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NCJ Number: 221839 Find in a Library
Title: 'Alter Reality': Governing the Risk of Identity Theft
Journal: British Journal of Criminology  Volume:48  Issue:1  Dated:January 2008  Pages:20-38
Author(s): Donncha Marron
Date Published: January 2008
Page Count: 19
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This paper examines the recent development of identity theft as a crime within the United States, specifically the appropriation of personal information for the fraudulent adoption of consumer credit accounts.
Abstract: Identity theft involves the use of another’s personal identifying information for a range of illicit ends, and is billed as the fastest growing crime in the United States. The dangers posed by identity theft are not simply constructed, but have a realist dimension stemming from the ways in which the contemporary credit-dependent, consumer-oriented economy works. It is demonstrated that identity theft, conceptualized within a discourse of risk, has a realist dimension as an unintended consequence of the deployment of information technologies in the securitization of consumer identities. This paper explores the extent to which credit consumers have come to be made conscious of identity theft and its financial impact as an uncertain event, a crime which the individual, as a consumer, is encouraged to take preventative measures against a risk through which the actions and dispositions of individuals are governed in specific ways. In addition, it examines how the risk of identity theft is understood and constructed in particular ways through the means by which governing authorities, the State, lenders, credit-referencing agencies, and consumer groups, comprehend the problem as a risk and apportion responsibility for its management. References
Main Term(s): Fraud; Identity Theft
Index Term(s): Consumer fraud; Credit card fraud; Credit fraud; Personal Security/Self Protection
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