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ANSI Recognizes National Consumer Protection Week


New York, Mar 03, 2009

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI), together with many federal, state, and local government agencies and national consumer advocacy organizations, is proud to support the efforts of National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW). Held from March 1-7, 2009, this year’s celebration focuses on the topic of Nuts and Bolts: Tools for Today’s Economy.

Organized by a steering committee of thirteen public and private organizations, the annual NCPW highlights consumer protection and education efforts through a nationwide awareness-building campaign. Consumer protection activities are a core part of ANSI’s mission and a number of the activities that the Institute is involved in relate to the NCPW 2009 theme.

The ANSI Identity Theft Prevention and Identity Management Standards Panel (IDSP) promotes the development and use of standards for the protection of a consumer’s identity. In a recent workshop, IDSP members agreed to undertake further work to explore the need for standards on measuring identity theft.

Three working groups were established to address this need: a group to compile an inventory of existing glossaries of identity theft terms and identify any that may be causing confusion in the marketplace; a second group to catalog recent research on identity theft and data breach trends as well as identity theft protection services and information security solutions; and a third group to do an inventory of existing standards and best practices on research methodologies. The Panel will reconvene in late April for a status report on the project. [see related article]

Consumer protection is also critical in the field of credit scoring. In the international arena, the Austrian member body to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), Österreichisches Normungsinstitut (ON), has submitted a new work item proposal for a standard that specifies requirements of consumer credit scoring. If approved, this standard will seek to prevent the existence of methods and processes that are driven by conflicts of interests, that are untrustworthy and deliberately or unacceptably false, or that are able to manipulate the retail credit markets as a result of failures in accreditation or auditing systems.

As the U.S. member body to ISO, ANSI has invited all interested stakeholders to submit comments by March 13, 2009. [see related article]

These and many other consumer protection issues are tracked by ANSI’s Consumer Interest Forum (CIF), which works to facilitate the representation of consumer interests in voluntary standards and conformity assessment activities. CIF members represent consumer organizations, producers, retailers, distributors, industry councils, and government agencies. The CIF is also the U.S. link to the ISO Consumer Policy Committee of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO COPOLCO).

For more information about National Consumer Protection Week, including outreach toolkits to promote NCPW, visit www.consumer.gov/ncpw.

ANSI Nanotechnology Standards Panel