Breaches of personal data: blaming the myth and punishing the victim
A study that will appear in the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication later this year analyzes failures to secure computerized personal records....The study used press reports to identify incidents in part because there is no centralized reporting mechanism, and in part because many of the incidents have not resulted in prosecutions. The authors did require independent verification of incidents, and used the lowest figure for the number of records compromised when reports did not agree. Even by these conservative standards, the results were enormous: over 1.9 billion records exposed, or an average of 9 records for every American citizen.
That figure is almost certainly an extreme underestimation. State laws requiring a reporting of personal information loss only came into effect within the past three years. Almost certainly as a result, there were more reported incidents in 2005 and 2006 than all the previous years combined. Breaches of personal data: blaming the myth and punishing the victim
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