Data loss affects every country, but the United States dominates this category by a wide margin; 64% of all global data loss occurred within its borders. States such as California, Oregon, and Maryland are where most of this loss has occurred. In California alone, 5.6 billion records of data were lost in some form. The main causes for this include human error (such as accidental deletion), malware, and unexpected events (technology failures or natural disasters).
Corporations can also be affected by data loss. In just one year, 5,212 global businesses have confirmed data loss. Some of the most impacted industries are finance, healthcare, public administration, manufacturing, and transportation. In one especially painful incident within the healthcare industry, an employee at Anthem Health Insurance forwarded 18,500 members’ records to a third-party vendor.
Data loss is not just limited to the 21st century. An immeasurable amount of data has been lost throughout human history. Some examples include the burning of the Library of Alexandria in 48 BC. Over 570 GBs of information is estimated to be missing since the destruction of the library. In Mesoamerica, Spanish conquistadors destroyed the Mayan Religious Codices that contained invaluable information. Data loss is an irrecoverable tragedy, but also inevitable throughout human history.