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Victims of Identity Theft, 2014

Victims of Identity Theft, 2014 – Erika Harrell, Ph.D., – BJS Statistician

“An estimated 17.6 million persons, or about 7 percent of U.S. residents age 16 or older, were victims of at least one incident of identity theft in 2014, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. These statistics were similar to those in 2012. Identity theft is the attempted or successful misuse of an existing account, such as a debit or credit card account, the misuse of personal information to open a new account or the misuse of personal information for other fraudulent purposes, such as obtaining government benefits or providing false information to police during a crime or traffic stop. In 2014, the most common type of identity theft was the unauthorized misuse or attempted misuse of an existing account—experienced by 16.4 million persons. Victims may have experienced multiple types of identity theft. An estimated 8.6 million victims experienced the fraudulent use of a credit card, 8.1 million experienced the unauthorized or attempted use of existing bank accounts (checking, savings or other) and 1.5 million victims experienced other types of existing account theft, such as misuse or attempted misuse of an existing telephone, online or insurance account. Most identity theft victims discovered the incident when a financial institution contacted them about suspicious activity (45 percent) or when they noticed fraudulent charges on an account (18 percent). The majority of identity theft victims did not know how the offender obtained their information, and 9 in 10 identity theft victims did not know anything about the offender. Two-thirds of identity theft victims reported a direct financial loss. Victims whose personal information was misused or who had a new account opened in their name experienced greater out-of-pocket financial losses than those who had an existing credit card or bank account compromised. About 14 percent of identity theft victims experienced an out-of-pocket loss of $1 or more. Of those, about half suffered losses of $99 or less and 14 percent lost $1,000 or more. The majority of identity theft victims (52 percent) were able to resolve any problems associated with the incident in a day or less, while about 9 percent spent more than a month. Victims who spent more time resolving the associated problems were more likely to experience problems with work and personal relationships and severe emotional distress than victims who resolved the problems relatively quickly. Among identity theft victims who spent six months or more resolving financial and credit problems due to the theft, 29 percent experienced severe emotional distress, while 4 percent who spent a day or less experienced such distress. In 2014, fewer than one in 10 identity theft victims reported the incident to police. The majority (87 percent) of identity theft victims contacted a credit card company or bank to report misuse or attempted misuse of an account or personal information, while 8 percent contacted a credit bureau.”

Manners 2.0: Key findings about etiquette in the digital age

“Some 92% of Americans now have a cellphone of some kind, and 90% of those cell owners say that their phone is frequently with them. This “always-on” mobile connectivity is changing the nature of public spaces and social gatherings. It is also rewriting social norms regarding what is rude and what is acceptable behavior when peopleContinue Reading

UK surveillance program collected billions of records from persons in multiple countries

Ryan Gallagher, The Intercept: “…The mass surveillance operation — code-named KARMA POLICE — was launched by British spies about seven years ago without any public debate or scrutiny. It was just one part of a giant global Internet spying apparatus built by the United Kingdom’s electronic eavesdropping agency, Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ…The surveillance is underpinned byContinue Reading

ACLU – Capitol Hill staffers should be able to make encrypted calls, send secure text messages

“Today, the ACLU sent a letter to both the House and Senate, urging them to provide secure voice and text messaging capabilities to Members and their staff. (The Washington Post writes about our letter today. In recent years, computer security researchers have warned about the poor security of cellular networks, which in many cases useContinue Reading

Federal Court Invalidates 11-Year-old FBI gag order on National Security Letter recipient Nicholas Merrill

Calyx Institute: “A federal district court has ordered the FBI to lift an eleven-year- old gag order imposed on Nicholas Merrill [document is redacted] forbidding him from speaking about a National Security Letter (“NSL”) that the FBI served on him in 2004. The ruling marks the first time that an NSL gag order has beenContinue Reading

DNI Testimony on Worldwide Cyber Threats

Statement for the Record – Worldwide Cyber Threats – House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence – James R. Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, September 10, 2015. “Worldwide Cyber Threats – Overview – Cyber threats to US national and economic security are increasing in frequency, scale, sophistication, and severity of impact. The ranges of cyber threatContinue Reading

EFF Provides Evidence to Courts on Telecoms Collection of Metadata

“This week EFF presented evidence in two of its NSA cases confirming the participation of Verizon Wireless, Sprint and AT&T in the NSA’s mass telephone records collection under the Patriot Act.  This is important because, despite broad public acknowledgement, the government is still claiming that it can dismiss our cases because it has never confirmedContinue Reading

What Does the Latest Court Ruling on NSA Telephone Metadata Program Mean?

CRS Legal Sidebar – Legal Sidebar What Does the Latest Court Ruling on NSA Telephone Metadata Program Mean? 09/03/2015 “On August 28, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, in Obama v. Klayman, ruled for the government in the ongoing litigation over the National Security Agency’s (NSA’s) telephone metadata program. TheContinue Reading

OPM, DoD Announce Identity Theft Protection and Credit Monitoring Contract

OPN News Release: ” The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) today announced the award of a $133,263,550 contract to Identity Theft Guard Solutions LLC, doing business as ID Experts, for identity theft protection services for 21.5 million individuals whose personal information was stolen in one of theContinue Reading

EY, LANL make new cybersecurity tools available to private sector

News release: “Ernst & Young LLP and Los Alamos National Laboratory have formed a strategic alliance to deliver some of the most advanced behavioral cybersecurity tools available to the commercial market. “Cybersecurity attacks are ever more frequent and more sophisticated, and they destroy the trust needed to conduct business,” said Duncan McBranch, Chief Technology OfficerContinue Reading

Professor Latanya Sweeney Launches New Privacy and Technology Journa

EPIC – “Harvard Professor Dr. Latanya Sweeney has launched Technology Science, a new online journal for “original material dealing primarily with a social, political, personal, or organizational benefit or adverse consequence of technology.” Among other papers, Technology Science currently features research on Facebook Messenger’s geolocation collection and disclosure, medical privacy, and price discrimination in internationalContinue Reading

FCW obtained official timeline of OPM data breach “An official timeline of the Office of Personnel Management breach obtained by FCW pinpoints the hackers’ calibrated extraction of data and the government’s step-by-step response. It illuminates a sequence of events that lawmakers have struggled to pin down in public hearings with Obama administration officials. The timeline makes clear that the heist of dataContinue Reading