Beware scammers using your identity to submit comment to Parliament

Posted on

I received this mail on 31 January:

Screen Shot 2016-02-07 at 11.32.26

There was just one problem, as my response pointed out:

Screen Shot 2016-02-07 at 11.33.36

I have since received this response:

Screen Shot 2016-02-07 at 11.35.13

I consider this to be inadequate: asking someone intent on committing an identity theft to confirm that they understand that this is what they are doing is not going to deter anyone.

At the very least it is beholden on parliament to seek email verification in a two stage process of submission, test response and confirmation that the real owner of the email has approved the submission made before any comment is accepted by a committee for publication. This is, after all, required to sign an on line petition on a government web site and has to be the minimum standard acceptable.

Better still, a more formal verification process should be created to prevent such fraud taking place or the whole parliamentary consultation process will be at risk of abuse, and will be discredited as a result.

It seems to me that there is real risk here.