A Surprising Piece Of Data Breach Fallout

There has been no end to the list of the bad impacts of major retail data breaches, from fines and card-reissuance costs and paying for cleanup and forensics investigations, not to mention the inevitable legal fees. (Note: If law firms were really smart, they'd be underwriting the best cyber thieves. Come to think of it ....) But here's an interesting one: a sharp drop in subscriptions (software, services, organization memberships as well as publications) facilitated by cards being reissued.

It's a delicious unintended consequence example. As noted in The Washington Post, this trend is partly influenced by the recession. Most consumers won't necessarily take the time to cancel subscriptions when times get tough, but if the issue is forced upon them—as would happen when they are issued a new credit card number because of a breach, forcing them to take action to continue the auto-billed service—they're much more likely to choose to let the subscription lapse. It's just another bullet point for that lengthy list of data breach financial costs.