The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse just announced that their tracking of publicly available information on data breaches has reached 500 million records breached since 2005.
The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse tracks the approximate number of records (not individuals) compromised in data breaches - this record is based upon publicly available statistics. Though in reality, actual breached records are probably much higher, and some breaches affect an unknown number of records, the statistics give a good indication of breach trends within the US.
"This is a conservative number," says Director Beth Givens, "We generally learn about breaches that garner media attention. Unfortunately, many do not. And, because many states do not require companies to report data breaches to a central clearinghouse, data breaches occur that we never hear about. Our Chronology is only a sampling."
The Chronology of Data Breaches has been listing incidents of breached consumer information since 2005. As of August 24, 2010, that breach tally reached half a billion records!