Reitman, Rainey

Rainey Reitman is a writer and advocate for the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, a nonprofit consumer organization with a two-part mission -- consumer information and consumer advocacy.

500 Million Sensitive Records Breached Since 2005

By Rainey Reitman
Privacy Rights Clearinghouse

Employees losing laptop computers, hackers downloading credit card numbers and sensitive personal data accidentally exposed online -- the Chronology of Data Breaches shows hundreds of ways that the personal information of consumers is lost, stolen or exposed.

The Chronology of Data Breaches, a project of the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse since 2005, lists incidents involving breached consumer information, such as personal medical records, credit card numbers and Social Security numbers. The most recent total, published August 24, 2010, is a wake-up call to consumers who think identity theft can’t happen to them.