Govt. datamining endangering citizen privacy: GAO

Govt. datamining endangering citizen privacy: GAO

Summary: Federal agencies are not obeying privacy laws regarding the datamining of personal information - and indeed most agencies do not understand the privacy implications of datamining activities, the General Accounting Office charged.

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Federal agencies are not obeying privacy laws regarding the datamining of personal information - and indeed most agencies do not understand the privacy implications of datamining activities, the General Accounting Office charged in a report (PDF) released today.

According to Federal Computer Week, GAO auditors found that “while the agencies responsible for these five efforts took many of the key steps required by federal law and executive branch guidance for the protection of personal information, none followed all key procedures.”

Part of the problem is that agency officials themselves do not fully comprehend the privacy repercussions of data-mining. Federal law requires agencies to conduct privacy impact assessments before collecting data containing personal information. The five agencies reviewed did not perform acceptable privacy impact assessments, according to the report.

“None of the agencies we reviewed conducted a complete privacy impact assessment,” the report states. “In addition, none of the privacy impact assessments adequately addressed the choices that agencies made regarding privacy in their data mining efforts. As a result, the basis for their choices regarding tradeoffs between privacy protections and operational needs is unclear. Better analyses of such choices could help agencies strike the appropriate balance between operational needs and individuals’ rights to privacy.”

 

 

Topics: Privacy, Security, Software

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  • blah, blah, blah...

    It just doesn't matter... No matter what we, the little guys, think or do, big brother will have his way. Gov't's most obvious policy (at least since the Bush took office...) is: laws be damned, we're the Gov't, do it anyway... unless/until someone screams too loudly about it...

    ...but by then the damage is already done.

    There is no such thing as privacy in this country any more..short of dying...and even then, they put you in a catalogued box, file you in a registered cemetery and stamp your name on a gravestone so they can easily track you... after all...you might decide to wake up and attack the country...
    6T9ura$$0ff
  • So why is anyone surprised

    bureaucrats tend to follow the leadership they're given and this president and his co-horts are all people who believe the constitution only applies to the rich and anything they do is ok.

    From the day he took office when police were spraying nonviolent protestors with pepperspray and clubing them things have gone from bad to worse. If we survive until he is out of office AND we CLEAN HOUSE (that means we vote out, impeach or otherwise through legal means get rid of EVERY legislator who helped take away our liberties through the patriot act and a host of legislations in which big business, the energy industry and other Haves got rewarded for screwing the American Public and helped KILL the middle class off.)

    We must as American citizens start taking our DUTIES (yes we have duties and obligations as citizens) seriously. This means we vote AFTER we have researched. We demand that ballots have a choice called NONE OF THE ABOVE which will start allowing us to not just choose the best of 2 BAD choices but actually choose the best.

    But until we start acting like citizens instead of apothetic dweebs things will not change.
    Charli_z