Despite Breaches, Many Americans Don't Worry About ID Theft


However, a survey found that over half of those concerned about identity theft trust the public sector to protect their personal information better than private-sector institutions.

Just over a third of Americans surveyed in a new poll are very concerned about identity theft today, despite several recent large-scale data breaches.

About 37 percent of respondents said they were "very concerned" about identity theft, according to a poll of about 10,000 people conducted by software company Citrix.

About 35 percent said they were "somewhat concerned" and 21 percent said they were "a little concerned."

» Get the best federal technology news and ideas delivered right to your inbox. Sign up here.

Over half of those concerned about identity theft said they trusted the public sector—this includes federal, state and local institutions—to protect their personal information better than private-sector institutions, such as retailers, banks and credit card companies.

Those who weren't especially concerned about identity theft trusted the public and private sectors equally to protect their personal data.

The results follow several large-scale cyberattacks in the past few years in both the public and private sectors. In 2015, revelations surfaced of major intrusion into the Office of Personnel Management, exposing personal information stored in more than 20 million individuals' background check documents. The Internal Revenue Service last year estimated that more than 700,000 people's personal information may have been stolen by hackers following a cyberattack.

The private sector hasn't been unblemished, either. In 2014, for instance, hackers stole credit and debit card data from customers of Target; that incident may have affected 110 million shoppers.