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A new study has ranked the vulnerability of 25 major U.S. companies -- including banks, retailers, and phone companies -- to customer identity theft incidents, based on complaints filed with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The Berkeley Center for Law and Technology paper "Measuring Identity Theft at Top Banks (Version 1.0)", which author Chris Hoofnagle calls a "first attempt to meaningfully compare institutions on their performance in avoiding identity theft," measured incidents reported by to the FTC by consumers over three randomly-chosen months in 2006 (a total of 88,560 complaints). Analysis showed that Bank of America, the largest financial institution in the U.S., followed by telecommunications companies AT&T and Sprint/Nextel. The New York Times has excerpted a chart from the study, showing the top 25 institutions based on monthly frequency of identity theft complaints.
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