Do Data Breach Disclosure Laws Reduce Identity Theft?
42 Pages Posted: 16 Jul 2010 Last revised: 22 Oct 2010
Date Written: July 15, 2010
In the United States, identity theft resulted in corporate and consumer losses of $56 billion dollars in 2005, with up to 35 percent of known identity thefts caused by corporate data breaches. Many states have responded by adopting “data breach disclosure laws” that require firms to notify consumers if their personal information has been lost or stolen. While the laws are expected to reduce identity theft, their effect has yet to be empirically measured. We use panel data from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to estimate the impact of data breach disclosure laws on identity theft from 2002 to 2009. We find that adoption of data breach disclosure laws reduce identity theft caused by data breaches by 6.1 percent, on average.
Keywords: Data breach disclosure, security breach notification, economics of information security, identity theft, fixed effects regression, difference in difference estimation
JEL Classification: C23, K10, L51
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