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L. Jean Camp
IU School of Informatics

Neal Moore
IU School of Informatics

Last modified: Thursday, November 8, 2007

IU professor's book examines identity theft, Internet privacy

NOV. 8, 2007

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- L. Jean Camp, associate professor in the Indiana University School of Informatics, has published a new book on the ever-growing challenge of identity theft and how to protect personal privacy in the Internet age.

Economics of Identity Theft: Avoidance, Causes and Possible Cures is an examination of identity management and how individuals and organizations can do a better of job of protecting financial and personal data. The scholarly narrative is woven into helpful tips for daily life, identity theft horror stories and tales of recovery, and easy-to-read descriptions of modern security technologies.

Published by Springer, Camp's book covers both the technical and economic sides of identity theft, and the technology that offers the possibility of ending it. Camp concludes with four startling scenarios that provide an important glimpse into the future of identity theft and efforts to curtail it.

"The two scenarios 'business as usual', and 'ubiquitous identity theft', may seem far apart at the beginning of the book," Camp notes. "However, by the end you see how these two threaten to merge."

A central theme of Economics of Identity Theft: Avoidance, Causes and Possible Cures is that identity is -- more than anything else -- economic, and that the technology used to create, utilize and protect identities is increasingly ill-matched to the economics and uses of identities. Camp argues that in order for us to prove our online identities we must expose personal information, thus illustrating that the near-term search for inexpensive identity management is a formula for long-term fraud resulting in ever-increasing identity theft.

"The problem with identity theft is not a lack of technology; it is a lack of coordination between consumers, businesses, banks and governments," Camp explains. "Each one of us is holding onto a different bit of the elephant, but understanding the solution requires seeing the entire beast."

Economics of Identity Theft: Avoidance, Causes and Possible Cures discusses identity-based signatures, spyware and biometric security, and includes practical individual strategies for preventing identity theft for any reader of any economic status. Anyone with an identity to protect will find the book readable and informative.

Additional information is available online at For more on L. Jean Camp and her work see or