The free scheme, called StolenID Search and set up by American firm TrustedID, allows anyone with internet access to search a database of more than two million data entries, including credit card details, found to be used by criminals in online fraud.
To run a search, the consumer must input their personal data to check it against the information stored on the database. The search will return with a found or not found response.
Individuals who receive notification of a match will be instructed on how to take the appropriate next steps.
The knowledge that your information has been compromised can be critically important in preventing identity theft said Scott Mitic, CEO and founder of TrustedID.
"The key is to find out about the compromise before the information is used to perpetrate a crime. Often, individuals are not even aware that their information has been breached, or that the breach may be ongoing," he said.
However, security analysts have criticised the service, claiming by making it accessible to anyone it could actually assist criminal activity.
"They can make a terrible problem worse if they freely disseminate information to anyone who asks for it without properly vetting the request or identity," Gartner analyst Avivah Litan warned.
First ID theft database is launched
By Fiona Raisbeck on Jan 25, 2007 8:29AM