Identity theft is out of control in this country. According to a recent poll from Consumer Reports, an estimated 70 million people were victims of the crime in the U.S. alone last year.
There are lots of factors that contributed to this huge number. The rise in retail hacks and data breaches definitely played a role. Data breaches were up 27.5% last year compared to 2013.
According to Consumer Reports’s survey, 79% of those notified of a data breach were told by a brick-and-mortar store or a financial institution. Just eighteen percent said the problem originated with an online retailer.
Consumer Reports conducted a nationally representative survey of over 3,000 adults to come up with its figures.
When it comes to identity theft, the quicker you know about an issue, the better. That's why Congress is currently looking at a bill that would require that consumers are notified quickly in the event of a breach.
Among the latest proposals in Congress is the Consumer Privacy Protection Act, a bill introduced by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D, Vt.) that would cover not only financial data, but things like photos and videos stored in the cloud. It would also require companies to notify consumers of a breach within 30 days.