Identity theft: aligning law and evolving technologies

Niloufer Selvadurai, Md. Rizwanul Islam, Peter Gillies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The proliferation of modern communication technology and the increasing ease with which information can be collected and duplicated has led to a significant increase in the incidence of the crime of identity theft. “Identity theft” refers to the use of the identity of another individual for the purpose of gaining unfair pecuniary benefits or evading responsibility for commission of wrongful acts. The present Australian laws are piecemeal in nature and limited in scope. It is submitted that it is necessary to have a specific offence of identity theft in order to effectively address the myriad of modern internet-driven activities that can result in identity theft. The present article begins by considering the techniques that perpetrators of identity theft employ and the nature of the loss suffered by victims. The article then outlines the limitations of the present Australian laws governing identity theft, and raises the need for a specific offence of identity theft. ’The law reform discourse in the comparable jurisdictions of the United Kingdom and Canada are also noted. Finally, the article considers additional initiatives that would serve to support the proposed new laws and reduce the incidence and impact of identity theft.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-47
Number of pages15
JournalCriminal Law Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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