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UT News | April 11, 2014

AUSTIN, Texas — The Center for Identity, a research organization at The University of Texas at Austin, will establish a resource center for the public on identity theft, fraud, and privacy.

It will be funded through a $5 million allocation approved last year by the Texas Legislature the largest state level investment in identity theft protection in the country.

The new resource center will provide research, educational materials, workshops and outreach to the public, with an initial emphasis on materials for the groups most at risk for identity theft: seniors, children and small businesses.

It will provide clear and accessible resources to empower citizens—both online and offline—to be better informed and make smarter choices to protect their personal information.

“Identity fraud is an increasingly common occurrence and a huge expense for state and federal government,” said Susan Combs, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, who serves on the Center for Identity’s Board of Advisors and chairs its Child ID Task Force. “Smarter, more informed consumers lead to less fraud, theft, and abuse of identity information. We believe this effort can help prevent millions lost to the state of Texas as a result of identity fraud cases.”

“The Texas Legislature has given us the opportunity to grow the Center for Identity into an international center of excellence and an unparalleled resource for Texans and beyond,” said Dr. Suzanne Barber, director for the Center for Identity. “We will equip individuals with the knowledge and tools needed to manage, protect and value their identity in today’s ever-connected world.”

The new resource center is expected to launch in the summer of 2014. It was announced this week at the Center for Identity’s third annual ID360 conference at The University of Texas at Austin. ID360 brings together thought leaders from every angle of identity management including researchers, industry leaders, policy makers and technologies to discuss trends, concerns and solutions related to identity management.

The Center for Identity brings together researchers and scholars from across UT Austin’s top-ranked schools and programs in Business, Communications, Law, Public Affairs, Engineering and Computer Science to focus on issues related to identity management, privacy and security. Leveraging the resources of The University of Texas and those of its public and private sector members, the Center forecasts threats and delivers solutions that define and protect identity in physical and cyber environments.

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