Total Number Of Personal Data Records Leaked Since 2005: At Least 358.4 Million

from the lost-but-not-forgotten dept

The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse has put up a pretty interesting chronology of data breaches (via Guardianista) detailing leaks in the US since 2005 that resulted in the loss of people's personal info. They've totaled up the figure over the past five and a bit years, and it's a staggering 358.4 million records lost. Keep in mind that 358.4 million is just a minimum, since there are plenty of leaks that have lost an unknown number of records (like the one from a closed-down Hollywood Video store in Nevada, where customer records were thrown in a dumpster then scattered by the wind). Still, you may be thinking that you don't hear about record-breaking data breaches much these days, but that's not because they've stopped -- it's just that they happen so often, they're really not all that newsworthy any more. A lot of lip service gets paid to clamping down on fraud, but it really doesn't seem like much goes on to stop data leaks, since the penalties for the leaks are toothless and are cheaper than any real prevention.
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Filed Under: data breaches, personal data

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  1. icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), 27 Apr 2010 @ 12:08am


    So the traditional argument around here is that trying to secure information is a pretty useless task, since hackers will always get it if they want it - and as such, we should just stop trying

    Uh, no. That's not the "traditional argument" around here at all. Not sure where you read that, but it was not this site.

    We should also never hold people accountable for the actions of others.


    But when it comes to personal information, we want there to be liability for people who don't secure it against hackers and we want to hold those people accountable instead of (or in addition to) the hackers.

    No. Reading comprehension fail. In this case, we're talking about companies who have a legal responsibility to protect information, who are not living up to that responsibility. Thus, the legal liability falls on them reasonably.

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