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Illinois residents are increasingly worried about how businesses protect their personal and financial information in the wake of widespread data breaches in 2013, MyWebTimes reports.
In 2013, the Illinois Attorney General’s Office saw a 1,600-percent increase in data breach complaints compared to 2012. The office received more than 20,500 complaints in 2013, and identity theft complaints recorded the largest increase – from 2,544 complaints in 2012 to 3,009 in 2013. Within this category, Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office reported a significant increase in complaints about data breaches specifically – from 33 complaints in 2012 to 576 in 2013.
Madigan attributed the spike to the major data breaches reported last year by Target and Advocate Health Care.
Earlier this month, Madigan testified before the U.S. House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade about her ongoing investigations: “Identity theft is perhaps the most damaging financial scam that affects people today,” she said. “Last year alone, $21 billion was lost to identity theft. The harm being done to consumers is too great to allow these breaches to continue without a concerted effort by both the government and the private sector to stop them from happening.”