External Data Privacy Vs. Identity Theft Protection

For threat actors, access to employee or corporate data enables social engineering (including spear phishing) and other cybercrimes. This illicit access can lead to identity or IP theft, stolen money, and the misuse of private information for malicious reasons. An External Data Privacy (EDP) solution is needed to safeguard organizational assets.

Executive Takeaways

  • Protect your organization’s assets from social engineering and cybercrime with an External Data Privacy (EDP) solution.
  • EDP is proactive; scanning, removing, and monitoring PII to prevent attacks. Identity Theft Protection (ITP) is reactive, only monitoring PII for unusual activity and cleaning up after the fact.
  • ITP does not address the root cause of the problem, PII exposure, while EDP proactively eliminates free-floating PII to mitigate external PII data risks.
  • Choose an EDP provider that offers a complete set of privacy protection tools and personalized support.
  • Addressing external PII risks is critical for mitigating attack risks, including direct and indirect costs, decreased productivity, loss of stakeholder confidence, and poor morale.

Privacy Bee is an EDP-focused company that proactively scrubs your employees’ data from over 350 Data Brokers (our closest competitor is around 200.) Privacy Bee will monitor your employees’ data 24/7/365 to ensure that any data that could compromise your organization stays deleted.

Learn more about the Privacy Bee platform and how it can derisk your business.

EDP and Identity Theft Protection (for brevity, “ITP”) are often essential for individuals and families. For organizations, there are logical, ROI-positive reasons to offer one or both.

However, there are significant differences between EDP and ITP services. It is imperative to understand these differences to choose the best solution for your organization and employees.

What Does Identity Theft Protection Do?

ITP services monitor users’ personally identifiable information (PII) across sources, usually credit reports and public records, for unusual activity that may indicate fraud. 

Examples of monitored PII include:

  • Bank account details
  • Driver’s license number
  • Social Security number

Premium ITP services may monitor the following information sources:

  • The dark web
  • Court records
  • Credit applications
  • Social media
  • Service orders (e.g., cable utilities, wireless)
  • USPS change of address requests

The monitoring element of ITP can be considered proactive, but everything it does post-monitoring is entirely reactive. For example, the capping and insurance of maximum out-of-pocket expenses and interactions with your bank, credit card company, and credit bureaus to resolve things.

ITP solutions may provide organizations with a hedge against the potential direct and indirect costs of identity theft, such as decreased productivity and disengaged employees.

External Data Privacy Excels where ITP Doesn’t

We stated at the beginning that we would attempt to be as objective as possible in our “EDP versus ITP” analysis to allow business leaders to make informed decisions.

Bearing this in mind, we can state the following with certainty:

External Data Privacy is Proactive, ITP Isn’t

First, we must state that ITP services, with very few exceptions, are reactive. That is, most ITP solutions do not prevent identity theft from occurring. 

ITP doesn’t deal with perhaps the leading cause of identity theft and fraud: external PII that is easily and freely accessible. 

Any solution that doesn’t reduce risk by getting to the root of the problem is, by definition, reactive.

EDP services, such as those offered by Privacy Bee, scan for, delete, and monitor employees’ personal information across the web. The same information is often used to orchestrate identity theft or fraud.

We strongly recommend you run a 100% free scan of your employees to identify any active exposures or vulnerabilities.

External Data Privacy Scrubs PII, ITP Doesn’t

Identity Theft Protection, as previously stated, does not address the root cause of the problem. Unfortunately, many individuals and organizations believe that it does.

According to a survey by the Consumer Federation of America (CFA), just under 40% of consumers who watch ads for “dark web monitoring” incorrectly believe that ITP scrubs their personal information from the dark web [1].

ITP does not scrub personal information from the dark web. In fact, ITP doesn’t scrub personal information from the web, period.

Of course, believing that ITP can remove PII when it can not is a potentially costly misperception for both the employee and their organization.

Again, ITP is an essential service for individuals and families. Still, as it fails to address personal data dissemination, publication, and sale, it has limited organizational value as a proactive risk mitigation solution.

EDP is not an “employee benefit” but a critical business service that demands consideration. Social engineering and spear phishing are the two fastest-growing cybersecurity issues organizations face today, fueled by openly available, free private information. 

It is up to the organization to eliminate this free-floating PII to mitigate the risks of external PII data.

How to Assess and Mitigate External Data Risks

Many businesses provide data privacy services, but not all are equal. Like everything, it is essential to do intelligent research and choose a privacy partner that offers a complete set of privacy protection tools and personalized, customized support.

Privacy Bee is a world-class EDP service that proactively scans for, removes, and monitors PII and other data across more websites and databases than any other provider. Our cutting-edge, proprietary technology includes 350+ top Data Brokers, People Search Sites, and others.


[1] Consumer Federation of America. (2019, June 21). Too Many Consumers Believe that Identity Theft Protections Services Can Remove Personal Data From The Dark Web. Retrieved from  https://consumerfed.org/press_release/too-many-consumers-believe-theft-identity-services-can-remove-personal-data-from-the-dark-web/

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