Survey: ID Theft Up, Consumer Confidence Down

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Identity theft is on the rise and has rattled consumer confidence enough that it is affecting purchasing decisions, according to a survey released yesterday by Privacy & American Business and Deloitte & Touche.

Twenty percent of respondents reported having been victims of identity theft, according to the survey conducted by market research firm Harris Interactive, Rochester, NY. Extrapolated to the entire U.S. population, that would mean 44 million Americans have been victims of identity theft, up from 9 million in 2003.

The survey also found 64 percent of respondents had decided against purchasing an item due to concerns about how their personal information would be used. In addition, 67 percent said they had not registered or purchased at a Web site due to concerns about privacy policies.

The survey also found increasing awareness of data breaches, with 87 percent reporting that they had heard of personal data being lost. Despite that, the survey found that overall concerns about privacy had changed little since 2004, with 34 percent rating their concern as "high" compared with 35 percent in 2004.

Privacy & American Business is a publication of the Center for Social & Legal Research, a nonprofit think tank. The full report will be available at in July, the organization said.

Scott Hovanyetz covers telemarketing, production and printing and direct response TV marketing for DM News and To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting


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