Monthly Archives: October, 2009

Has “Data Loss” Jumped The Shark?

For those who aren’t familiar with it, the phrase “jump the shark” originates with an episode of the American TV series “Happy Days”, where one of the primary characters, Fonzie, literally (at least in the show) jumps over a shark while on water skis. The episode was designed as a desperate attempt to draw in viewers since the overall content of the show had become rather, well, “bleh”. Things were never the same after that episode, and it was generally concluded that once Fonzie “jumped the shark”, the show really had nowhere else to go but up.

But it never did.

About six weeks ago, I reposted a question sent to the Data Loss mail list from an earlier post made over two years prior asking the same question. To date, the replies we have received can be counted on one hand, but the evidence shown at the top of the main DataLossDB page is somewhat clear: for the last several months, we (meaning OSF) have received less reports and have seen less news about breaches involving personally identifying information. One or two people have questioned why, and the answer is simple: we don’t know. We still look for news, we still post what we find, but the decrease in events since the beginning of the year… well, we just don’t know.

Have there actually been fewer events? Has there been a change in the way that events have been reported in the media and through other sources that might disqualify them for inclusion into DataLossDB? Does anyone have any insight into why this apparent trend might be occuring? If so, we would like to hear / read your thoughts. Please mail our curators if you have anything to comment on about this subject.

Posted by Lyger