FTC yet to pay ChoicePoint victims

Nearly eight months after federal regulators trumpeted a settlement they secured with ChoicePoint Inc. over a data breach, the government has not paid any money to victims from a $5 million fund that was to be set up as part of the agreement. The Federal Trade Commission also has not yet implemented procedures for how the 800 fraud victims it has identified so far can apply for and receive compensation from the fund, nor has it hired anyone to administer the fund on behalf of the agency, said FTC spokeswoman Claudia Bourne Farrell. "That’s under review," Farrell said Tuesday. Responding to an open records request by The Associated Press, Farrell said the commission is trying to develop a plan to distribute the money "expeditiously and efficiently." Jessica Rich, assistant director of the FTC’s division of privacy and identity theft, said in a statement released to AP on Wednesday that "law enforcement is still identifying victims and we want to make sure we have the right people." "We are hoping to complete the process soon," Rich wrote. The disclosure about the money not yet being distributed comes as the President’s Identity Theft Task Force adopted interim recommendations on addressing the problem of identity theft. The interim recommendations, announced Tuesday and highlighted in an FTC news release, included extending restitution for victims of identity theft and helping victims get easier access to police reports about the misuse of their personal information.

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