Identity Theft: Data Breaches Throw Electronic-Payment Security and Customer Loyalty into Question—Identity Theft Expert and Speaker on Personal Security

(BOSTON, Mass. – April 26, 2007 – Recently released industry research has suggested that consumers are apt to stop shopping at retailers that suffer data breaches. The obvious alternative, according to Robert Siciliano, a widely televised and quoted personal security and identity theft expert, is for retailers to avert data breaches altogether by implementing Payment Card Industry (PCI) data-security standards. But he expressed concern over reports that retailers may be too unorganized to comply.

“Data breaches won’t stop by themselves,” said Siciliano. “Identity thieves and credit card fraudsters look for the point of least resistance and then exploit it. The retail industry ought to be well along in efforts to standardize security measures designed to dissuade hackers and social engineers from breaching customers’ data. Anything less will eventually cause customers to distrust the stores they frequent.”

CEO of, Siciliano leads Fortune 500 companies and their clients in workshops that explore consumer education solutions for security issues. On its Web site, the Privacy Learning Institute has featured Siciliano, a longtime identity theft speaker. Author of “The Safety Minute: 01,” He has discussed identity theft and data security on CNBC, on NBC’s “Today Show,” FOX News, and elsewhere.

On April 11, Javelin Strategy & Research announced the results of a study on how data breaches affect consumer behavior, finding that 77% of the consumers surveyed intend to stop shopping at merchants that suffer from data breaches. Yet The Associated Press reported soon thereafter that TJX Cos., which recently suffered a data breach exposing “45.7 million credit and debit cards to potential fraud,” experienced a 6 percent rise in sales in March. Javelin’s Website quoted the analyst who authored the report as surmising that consumers’ promises to punish a retailer for lack of security may be flummoxed by their inability to “differentiate who it is that’s doing a better job of protecting their data.”

“Retailers play a dangerous game with lax security,” said Siciliano. “With every breach, we get closer to the tipping point, beyond which consumers will reflexively and precipitously leave retailers as data breaches occur.”

See Roberts April 24th MSNBC appearance on credit card fraud.

A March 29 article in Digital Transactions quoted electronic-payment experts expressing concern that large retailers’ apparent inability to meet PCI data security standards means small merchants’ prospects are no better, and perhaps worse.

“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone through a large store’s checkout line, used a credit card, and never been asked for accompanying identification,” said Siciliano. “This is a simple employee training issue. Cash register attendants must verify the signature and identity of every customer who buys with a credit or debit card.”

“Attention to compliance in electronic-payment security standards is critical,” said Siciliano, “and I’ve witnessed some of the best adherence to simple security policy at small shops, not large department stores belonging to national chains.”


Identity theft affects us all, which is why Robert Siciliano, CEO of, makes it his mission to provide consumer education solutions on identity theft to Fortune 500 companies and their clients.

A leader of personal safety and security seminars nationwide, Siciliano has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, “FOX News,” NBC’s “Today Show,” “The Suze Orman Show,” “The Montel Williams Show,” “Maury Povich,” “Sally Jesse Raphael,” “The Howard Stern Show,” and “Inside Edition.” Numerous magazines, print news outlets, and wire services have turned to him, as well, for expert commentary on personal security and identity theft. These include Entrepreneur, Woman’s Day, Mademoiselle, Good Housekeeping, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Times, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, United Press International, Reuters, and others.

Visit Siciliano’s Web site,; blog,; and YouTube page,

The media are encouraged to get in touch with Siciliano directly:

Robert Siciliano
Personal Security Expert
PHONE: 888-SICILIANO (742-4542)
FAX: 877-2-FAX-NOW (232-9669)

The media may also contact:

Brent W. Skinner, President
PHONE: 617-875-4859
FAX: 866-663-6557