Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed House amended (10/07/1998)

Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act of 1998 - Amends the Federal criminal code to make it unlawful for anyone to knowingly transfer or use, without lawful authority, a means of identification of another person with the intent to commit, or to aid or abet, any unlawful activity that constitutes a violation of Federal law, or that constitutes a felony under any applicable State or local law.

Prescribes criminal penalties for offenses involving fraud and related activity in connection with identification documents (identity fraud) committed in connection with a crime of violence or committed after a prior conviction of such an offense. Subjects to the same penalties any person who attempts or conspires to commit such an offense.

Provides for the forfeiture to the United States of personal property used or intended to be used to commit identity fraud.

(Sec. 4) Directs the United States Sentencing Commission to review and amend the Federal sentencing guidelines and policy statements of the Commission to provide an appropriate penalty for such offenses, taking into account specified factors.

(Sec. 5) Directs the Federal Trade Commission to establish procedures to: (1) log and acknowledge the receipt of complaints by individuals having reason to believe that one or more of their means of identification have been assumed, stolen, or otherwise unlawfully acquired; (2) provide informational materials to such individuals; and (3) refer such complaints to the appropriate entities, including national consumer reporting agencies and law enforcement agencies. Authorizes appropriations.

(Sec. 7) Amends the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 to specify that the Act does not require the immediate and unconditional availability of reports filed by an individual if a finding is made by the Judicial Conference that revealing personal and sensitive information could endanger that individual. Allows a report to be redacted under this provision only to the extent necessary to protect such individual and only for as long as the danger to such individual exists.

Directs: (1) the Administrative Office of the United States Courts to submit to the House and Senate Judiciary Committees an annual report regarding the operation of this section; and (2) the Judicial Conference to issue regulations setting forth the circumstances under which redaction is appropriate and the procedures for redaction.

Terminates such requirements on December 31, 2001.