How important is privacy to you?

The massive data breach at Target stores has justly angered many customers who are trying to protect their identity. While a breach of this scale isn’t common, personal information is inadvertently released, or stolen every day.

“In a recent report, the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics found that total losses attributed to identity theft in 2012 were $24.6 billion, compared to $13.9 billion for property crimes. Not only is the total loss amount higher for identity theft, the mean and median loss per incident is roughly double,” writes Mike Riggs in The Atlantic.

Beyond the thieves there are other serious concerns about what data brokers are doing with personal information.

Have you been to a gynecologist in the last 12 months? Ever been treated for depression? Have you been raped? Data brokers may very well know about it and are selling that information to marketers in a largely unregulated $156 billion industry.

A Senate Committee released a 36-page report today and had a hearing on its findings, which showed that the data brokerage industry — which isn’t new but has more ways than ever to collect information on us — could be, in the words of Sen. Jay Rockefeller, more worrisome than the NSA. (The Wire)

Today’s Question: How important is privacy to you?