IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Do data breach disclosure laws reduce identity theft?


  • Sasha Romanosky
  • Rahul Telang
  • Alessandro Acquisti


In the United States, identity theft resulted in corporate and consumer losses of $56 billion dollars in 2005, with up to 35 percent of known identity thefts caused by corporate data breaches. Many states have responded by adopting data breach disclosure laws that require firms to notify consumers if their personal information has been lost or stolen. Although the laws are expected to reduce identity theft, their effect has yet to be empirically measured. We use panel data from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to estimate the impact of data breach disclosure laws on identity theft from 2002 to 2009. We find that adoption of data breach disclosure laws reduce identity theft caused by data breaches, on average, by 6.1 percent. © 2011 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.

Suggested Citation

  • Sasha Romanosky & Rahul Telang & Alessandro Acquisti, 2011. "Do data breach disclosure laws reduce identity theft?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(2), pages 256-286, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:30:y:2011:i:2:p:256-286

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Saim Kashmiri & Cameron Duncan Nicol & Liwu Hsu, 2017. "Birds of a feather: intra-industry spillover of the Target customer data breach and the shielding role of IT, marketing, and CSR," Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Springer, vol. 45(2), pages 208-228, March.
    2. Alessandro Acquisti, 2023. "The Economics of Privacy at a Crossroads," NBER Chapters, in: The Economics of Privacy, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Hui, Kai-Lung & Zhou, Jiali, 2020. "The Economics of Hacking," MPRA Paper 102706, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Nathan Blascak & Ying Lei Toh, 2022. "Prior Fraud Exposure and Precautionary Credit Market Behavior," Working Papers 22-36, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    5. Amalia R. Miller & Catherine Tucker, 2017. "Frontiers of Health Policy: Digital Data and Personalized Medicine," Innovation Policy and the Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(1), pages 49-75.
    6. Mikhed, Vyacheslav & Vogan, Michael, 2018. "How data breaches affect consumer credit," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 192-207.
    7. Alessandro Acquisti & Curtis Taylor & Liad Wagman, 2016. "The Economics of Privacy," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 54(2), pages 442-492, June.
    8. Aniket Kesari, 2022. "Do data breach notification laws reduce medical identity theft? Evidence from consumer complaints data," Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 19(4), pages 1222-1252, December.
    9. Avi Goldfarb & Catherine E. Tucker, 2011. "Privacy Regulation and Online Advertising," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 57(1), pages 57-71, January.
    10. Narendra Sharma & Ebere A. Oriaku & Ngozi Oriaku, 2020. "Cost and Effects of Data Breaches, Precautions, and Disclosure Laws," International Journal of Emerging Trends in Social Sciences, Scientific Publishing Institute, vol. 8(1), pages 33-41.
    11. Chul Ho Lee & Xianjun Geng & Srinivasan Raghunathan, 2016. "Mandatory Standards and Organizational Information Security," Information Systems Research, INFORMS, vol. 27(1), pages 70-86, March.
    12. Ginger Zhe Jin, 2018. "Artificial Intelligence and Consumer Privacy," NBER Chapters, in: The Economics of Artificial Intelligence: An Agenda, pages 439-462, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Joshua A. Gerlick & Stephan M. Liozu, 2020. "Ethical and legal considerations of artificial intelligence and algorithmic decision-making in personalized pricing," Journal of Revenue and Pricing Management, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 19(2), pages 85-98, April.
    14. Brenčič, Vera, 2014. "Search online: Evidence from acquisition of information on online job boards and resume banks," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 112-125.
    15. Mothobi, Onkokame, 2022. "The impact of telecommunication regulatory policy on mobile retail price in Sub-Saharan African countries," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 58(C).
    16. Jesse Leigh Maniff & Richard J. Sullivan, 2016. "Data Breach Notification Laws," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q I, pages 65-85.
    17. Vyacheslav Mikhed & Michael Vogan, 2017. "How Data Breaches Affect Consumer Credit," Working Papers 17-6, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    18. Ravi Bapna & Jui Ramaprasad & Galit Shmueli & Akhmed Umyarov, 2016. "One-Way Mirrors in Online Dating: A Randomized Field Experiment," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 62(11), pages 3100-3122, November.
    19. Qian Tang & Andrew B. Whinston, 2020. "Do Reputational Sanctions Deter Negligence in Information Security Management? A Field Quasi‐Experiment," Production and Operations Management, Production and Operations Management Society, vol. 29(2), pages 410-427, February.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:30:y:2011:i:2:p:256-286. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no bibliographic references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Wiley Content Delivery (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.