News of yet another whopping security breach hit the wires today. This time, thieves may have swiped credit card info of more than 180,000 HSBC Bank MasterCard shoppers. We're hearing of these large-scale breakdowns all too frequently, with hundreds of thousands of people affected each time. They've probably been happening for years and are only coming to light now, thanks to California's disclosure law. Alarming as this is, even more alarming is that these incidents barely register in the public consciousness. Instead, people are misdirecting their fears to Google map lookups and the like, as Scott Granneman points out in his column (don't worry, you've got the right column if you're reading a long intro about a WWI poet). The more we hear about a trend of scary facts, the more inured we get to them. Granneman calls for national legislation that would require companies to quickly disclose data theft to their customers. A good idea, but taking his original point a step further, people might also get desensitized to notices of stolen data. Save for those unfortunate few who have experienced the painful process of dealing with identity theft, it would take extraordinary circumstances for most people to care. Maybe another dozen or so cases of 200,000-plus customers getting their personal data ripped off by professional crooks will do the trick.
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