Chris Luttrell, COO of Atlanta-based identity verification and fraud deterrence solution provider IDology, has built her career around marrying customer needs with the most effective go-to-market strategies to produce efficient solutions that work. Chris’s tenure with IDology as well as her extensive background in the data and identity verification spheres have made her an industry leader.
IDology publishes both a Fraud Report and Consumer Identity Study each year, making Chris a wealth of information about the current state of fraud and the impact of recent privacy legislation on consumers and businesses.
M.R. Rangaswami: What have your recent findings for IDology’s annual reports revealed about today’s fraud landscape?
Chris Luttrell: The short answer is that the fraud landscape is complex, and consumers have high expectations for companies to protect their personal data. Our research, however, revealed a significant trust gap between businesses and American consumers. Seventy percent of businesses are under the impression that consumers trust them to protect their personal information online when in reality, only 28 percent of consumers are confident that the companies they patronize can get the job done.
Businesses that prioritize robust, frictionless identity verification and are transparent about their data protection and online privacy policies will stand out from their competitors. In turn, consumers will take notice, thus closing this trust gap. In fact, 96 percent of businesses acknowledge that identity verification is a strategic differentiator. Consumers are more educated about the safety of their personal data online than ever before and companies that employ advanced identity verification methods are more likely to attract (and retain) customers.
M.R.: With CCPA in effect, how has the balance of power shifted between consumers and businesses and what role does identity verification play in compliance?
Chris: CCPA has granted California consumers tremendous visibility into the information companies collect on them. Rather than just wondering what personal data has been collected, Californians can now contact a company and find out exactly what personal data that company holds on them. Even more importantly, consumers can now tell the company not to sell their data and request that the company delete their information. When it comes to personal data collection and use, CCPA has leveled the playing field between businesses and consumers.
Flexible and scalable identity verification processes are essential to a company’s CCPA compliance strategy. While CCPA is an important and positive development for consumers, it creates openings for fraudsters who might submit fraudulent personal data requests to obtain even more personal information about an individual—all for the purpose of gathering enough data to commit fraud.
To deter fraud, companies must verify the identity of every individual who files a personal data request under CCPA. What makes this tricky, however, is that these requests can arrive via a variety of channels and the requestors must receive a response within 45 days. This takes a manual identity verification process completely off the table. It just isn’t feasible. To stay compliant and prevent fraud, organizations must implement identity verification solutions that can handle varying request types from all channels and provide escalated identity verification methods seamlessly when needed.
M.R.: Fraudsters and criminals pay no attention to state lines or country borders. How can businesses protect against fraud on a global scale?
Chris: Fraud is absolutely a global problem and that’s not going to change any time soon. Global organizations—including US-based companies working toward a global presence—need to implement identity verification and fraud deterrence tools that take advantage of global data sources. These tools also need to comply with international regulations.
Identity verification and fraud deterrence tools that are flexible, customizable and frictionless are a company’s best bet for protecting the business and its customers on a global (and smaller) scale.
M.R. Rangaswami is the Co-Founder of Sand Hill Group.