Identity Theft in Today's World

Identity Theft in Today's World

Identity Theft in Today's World

Identity Theft in Today's World

Synopsis

This book accurately identifies the various forms of identity theft in simple, easy-to-understand terms, exposes exaggerated and erroneous information, and explains how everyone can take action to protect themselves.

Excerpt

Identity theft (aka IDT) is an ancient form of social deviance, made new by the trappings of modern existence and a little American ingenuity. The problem on its own, while both intricate and serious, can be grasped fairly easily in rational terms—rational choice being the main criminological perspective underlying the discussion of identity theft in this volume of Global Crime and Justice. The primary obstacle to understanding identity theft in today’s world, however, is the largely irrational manner in which this problem has been received.

With regard to the rational side of things, human behavior is consistently motivated to achieve some end that is typically judged to be good in the eyes of the actor. People are also free to choose between good and bad, and deterrence/prevention works by shifting the balance between these options during the decision-making process. Decisions are therefore rational based on how they are reached, not by whether they are independently thought to be logical, moral, or legal. Identity theft, being the result of human choice, consequently acts somewhat rationally on its own within the system of life.

The irrational side of identity theft is embodied by the contemporary reaction to this problem, which in the case of the United States can be classified as a moral panic. Moral panics are probably as old as identity theft, but much more difficult to pin down overall. While the principles of rational choice continue to apply to the actors involved in a moral panic, there is something about this particular collective response to a social problem that is not entirely logical. Although this characteristic irrationality can manifest itself in a variety of ways, many things about identity theft only appear to . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.