Tuesday, October 03, 2006

93,754,333 private records lost and counting

Thank you to Dennis Groves for passing this story along...

Data breaches near 94 million
"Less than two years into the great cultural awakening to the vulnerability of personal data, companies and institutions of every shape and size -- such as the data broker ChoicePoint, the credit card processor CardSystems Solutions, media companies such as Time Warner and dozens of colleges and universities across the land -- have collectively fumbled 93,754,333 private records. Or at least that's the rough figure tallied so far by the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, a consumer advocacy organization in San Diego. far."

This number is simply astounding. I mean, there are only roughly 300 million americans. Is this nearly 1 in 3? There is probably some overlap in the numbers, but wow. Businesses, consumers, security vendors, governement, watch groups all share part of the day to day responsibility for privacy protection. We have the technology, methodology, best-practices to make a real difference. We have everything we need except legislated responsibility. And that's the problem. Everyone's motivation is simply not in alignment. With that, no way things can get better.

Maybe the situation will get so bad (with privacy, security, identify theft, terrorism, copyright, patents, corruption, global warming, gas prices, etc.) we'll have no choice but to start doing the right thing. That's the safe bet, everything seem to work that way so far.


Unknown said...

A lot of us might have ethical desires and high standards in ourselves, but the corporate powers-that-be are influenced only by economics and legislation. :(

I, too, hope we get some legislation directly tackling this problem. It is nice to get the start where companies have to disclose, which enlists the media onto our bandwagon as they have something to cry loudly about and beat the bushes.

Jeremiah Grossman said...

Your right. That little piece of "disclosure" legislation shined a big spotlight on a problem we always knew was there, but could never prove. Time to take the next step.