Four in Ten Consumers

Four in Ten Consumers Say Personal Data Has Been Compromised or Worse: Data Privacy Trends

According to a new report from the Identity Theft Resource Center® (ITRC), about four in ten consumers say their personal information has been stolen, compromised or misused in the past year.

The ITRC’s 2022 Consumer Impact Report, released today, goes beyond the known financial implications of identity crimes and explores the lost opportunities as well as the emotional, physical and psychological impacts experienced by victims resulting from the crimes. It includes research that shows nearly four in ten consumers say their personal information was stolen, compromised or misused in the past year.

For the report, the ITRC surveyed victims who contacted the ITRC and victims who did not. According to the responses, the number of repeat identity crime victims dropped year-over-year among ITRC victims. However, half of the general victims surveyed claim to have been victimized more than once. Also, ITRC victims experienced more complex attacks that require longer to resolve. The percentage of “unresolved cases from the previous year” has grown from 37 percent to 55 percent since 2020. Some other key takeaways from the 2022 Consumer Impact Report include:

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  • Overall, identity crime victims are losing less money. Most ITRC victims and general victims report losing less than $500. However, one group of ITRC victims grew from nine (9) percent in 2020 to 30 percent in 2021 – those victims who lost $10,000 or more.
  • The number of ITRC victims who reported experiencing negative emotions increased in 2021 to 87 percent from 79 percent in the previous year, while the number of ITRC victims who reported physical impacts jumped from 44 percent to 68 percent in one year. Two-thirds of general victims reported emotional and physical effects of being an identity crime victim.
  • The number of ITRC victims who have changed their behaviors due to an identity crime dropped slightly overall and in five of seven possible actions. More victims reported freezing their credit and using an Identity Protection PIN from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) when filing taxes.

Perhaps most notable in the report is that the ITRC has seen one type of attack grow by over 1,000 percent(!) in the last 12 months – social media account takeover. I’m not sure which stat is scarier – that social media account takeover incidences grew 10 times in a single year or that personal information for four in ten consumers was stolen, compromised or misused in the past year. Both are bad. Honestly, if four in ten consumers have identified that their data was compromised (or worse), there are probably more who don’t realize it yet.

You can check out more summary data regarding the ITRC report, and download the report itself here for much more information.

So, what do you think? Are you surprised that so many consumers are seeing their personal data compromised? Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the authors and speakers themselves, and do not necessarily represent the views held by my employer, my partners or my clients. eDiscovery Today is made available solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscovery Today should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.

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