Council data breaches increase by ‘alarming’ 1,600 per cent

Data breaches across the UK have dramatically increased in the past five years, figures released under freedom of information laws have revealed.

Information disclosed by the Information Commissioner’s Office to a data security firm showed a major growth in self-reported data breaches every year.

On average the increase since 2007 stood at more than 1,000 per cent. But some sectors saw even higher rates of increase.


Now, when some of us here report increased figures for breach disclosures, we (translation: I) always point out the confounding factors in interpreting apparent increases.  Happily for Imation, the firm that requested the data, they think they can dismiss such factors as the explanation:

“Undoubtedly there are some mitigating circumstances which have contributed to the rise in annual data breach numbers, such as the introduction of mandatory reporting in certain sectors, plus the increasing amounts of data being stored and accessed. But none of these factors obscures the clear trend of constant increases.”

How do you know, Imation? How do you know that the increased reports aren’t an artifact of both increased reporting requirements and increased detection of breaches? What percent of the reported increase is really due to increased incidents and what percent is due to other factors?

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