Personal data security breaches hit 100 million milestone in US

Personal data security breaches hit 100 million milestone in US

Over 100 million data records of US residents have been exposed due to security breaches since February 2005, according to records maintained by the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse.

The 100m milestone was hit last week when a Boeing worker lost a laptop containing details of 382,000 current and previous workers at the aircraft manufacturer.

The data breaches recorded by the PRC must include data elements useful to identity thieves, such as Social Security numbers, account numbers, and driver's license numbers.

The Clearinghouse is at pains to point out that not all incidents of data breaches result in ID theft.

Indeed, research published by Javelin in September revealed that high profile data breaches in the US were responsible for only six per cent of all known cases of ID fraud in both new and existing accounts over the past year

The study found that the known leading causes of ID fraud were lost or stolen wallets, cheque books and credit cards, which account for 30% of ID fraud. Other causes include data stolen by friends, acquaintances, relatives or corrupt employees.

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