New rules needed on govt. use of commercial data

How should government use data collected from commercial companies. In light of exposures of sensitive personal data from companis like ChoicePoint, it's a serious concern. At a conference sponsored by the Dept. of Homeland Security, governmental and nongovernmental speakers pointed out the need for new laws and regulations. Here are few important quotes from News.com's coverage:

How should government use data collected from commercial companies. In light of exposures of sensitive personal data from companis like ChoicePoint, it's a serious concern. At a conference sponsored by the Dept. of Homeland Security, governmental and nongovernmental speakers pointed out the need for new laws and regulations. Here are few important quotes from News.com's coverage:

  • The best protection against privacy intrusions is "for the government not to have the data for any long amount of time," DHS privacy officer Nuala O'Connor Kelly said. "Let's use basic holding and processing constraints to limit the government's access to data, whatever the source."
  • The government must more clearly define its purposes for acquiring certain information, said Jim Dempsey, executive director of the Center for Democracy and Technology. Then it should ask, "Is it accurate enough for this purpose? Is it relevant to this purpose? Are we getting what we need for this purpose?" he said.
  • Congress needs to step in and form privacy rules that apply equally to all government agencies, suggested Fred Cate, director of the Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research at Indiana University. A handful of measures geared toward data safeguards have been introduced this term, but they primarily address steps data brokers must take in the event of a security breach.
  • Michael Daconta, Homeland Security's metadata program director, spoke of the need to bring "discipline" to the way that agencies manage personal data. "There are really no strong, consistent rules across the federal government on how to model these things," he said.

 

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