The other day I had a meeting with State Representative Cliff Hite to discuss the issue of Professional Licensing for the IT and Internet Professionals in the State of Ohio. Mr. Hite, a Republican has a voting record of being more of a centrist than a right winger and has earned a reputation in Ohio as being able to work with the Democrat party and pushing for positive legislation. He and I both agreed that some sort of legislation is required for professionals who have access to key personal and financial information pertaining to the general public. How that would be achieved would be no easy task and would meet a lot of resistance.
We both felt it would be a move in the right direction and would allow honest professionals the ability to conduct business without the light of suspicion and doubt being cast upon them by the few who abuse the system. We also agreed that it would be important for the professionals to be included in discussions about how to draft the professional licensing. However, I explained to him this would be a hard sell to the professionals in the industry as they feel it would be a move to control and legislate the industry. Regardless of their stance, the industry is ripe with abuse. Web and IT professionals have more access to the public's personal and financial information and require no security clearance in order to gain access to that information.
In 2007 and 2008, the online publisher "A List Apart" released surveys of the IT and Internet Professionals. Each year, over 33,000 people participated in the survey. In both years, nearly 25% of the respondents listed themselves as self-employed or freelance. Because there are so many individuals involved in the industry and have access to the public's personal and financial information, there is a greater chance of abuse of the system if nothing is done. With licensing, one could theorize the ability of preventing those who would abuse the system from accessing it in the future. Thus, if someone steals personal and financial information, sells it on the black market, gets caught, goes to jail, gets released; they would be unable to regain access to sensitive systems.