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Consumer Reports: 70 Million Americans' Personal Data Compromised
Tuesday, May 12, 2015 6:40 AM

More than 70 million American adults had their personal data compromised in 2014, according to projections by Consumer Reports. In its survey of more than 3,000 U.S. adults, Consumer Reports found that nearly 80 percent of the breaches were brick-and-mortar compared with 18 percent who said the activity occurred online.

CUNA recently launched a national Action Alert encouraging credit unions and their members to send letters of support for the Data Security Act of 2015—legislation that would set standards for entities that handle consumers' personal financial information and outline procedures that must be followed in the event of a data breach.

Data and cybersecurity are top advocacy issues for CUNA, state credit union leagues and credit unions that stress merchants must be held to the same standards as financial institutions in protecting consumer data.

Personal information held by health care organizations is at higher risk of cyber thievery as well. The Ponemon Institute’s fifth annual Benchmark Study on Privacy and Security of Healthcare Data, published last week, found that more than 90 percent of health care organizations suffered at least one data breach exposing patient data over the past two years (Information Week, May 7).

Nearly 45 percent of all data breaches in health care are linked to criminal attacks—the first time information loss has been associated more often with malfeasance than negligence. Criminal attacks are up 125 percent compared with five years ago when lost laptops were the leading cause.