--- The Economist, Data breaches in America: The rise of the hacker, 7 Nov 2015
Computers are not great for storing secrets. The number of reported data breaches at organisations in America hit a record high of 783 in 2014 according to the Identity Theft Resource Centre, an industry body. It defines a data breach as the loss of information from computers or storage media that could potentially lead to identity theft, including social-security numbers, bank-account details, driving-licence numbers and medical information.
Since 2005 there have been more than 5,000 known incidents of this type, involving an estimated 675m individual records. The real figures are likely to be far higher: many firms fail to report data thefts, since the consequences of disclosure can be severe.