The notion of identity is not as clear a concept as it used to be. Having your identity compromised is a potentially devastating event in a digital economy. Each year around 10 million Americans fall victim to identity theft, reflecting a net loss of around $60 billion.14
Identity theft may include financial theft (financial instruments are used to steal money), criminal theft (identity is stolen to mask criminal behavior), identity cloning (a person assumes the digital identity of another), and commercial theft (individuals or businesses use stolen identity information in order to obtain business loans or acquire credit).
While the relative percentage of Americans affected by identity theft is small (approximately 5% annually), the negative impact is significant. In addition to a significant net financial loss to the economy, the average time lost to resolving issues associated with a single case of identity theft is around 30 hours.15