Wednesday, 22nd August 2012
Privacy: Federal Law Should Be Updated to Address Changing Technology Landscape
Source: U.S. Government Accountability Office
Why GAO Did This Study
The federal government collects and uses personal information on individuals in increasingly sophisticated ways, and its reliance on information technology (IT) to collect, store, and transmit this information has also grown. While this enables federal agencies to carry out many of the government’s critical functions, concerns have been raised that the existing laws for protecting individuals’ personal information may no longer be sufficient given current practices. Moreover, vulnerabilities arising from agencies’ increased dependence on IT can result in the compromise of sensitive personal information, such as inappropriate use, modification, or disclosure.
GAO was asked to provide a statement describing (1) the impact of recent technology developments on existing laws for privacy protection in the federal government and (2) actions agencies can take to protect against and respond to breaches involving personal information. In preparing this statement, GAO relied on previous work in these areas as well as a review of more recent reports on security vulnerabilities.
+ Direct link to document (PDF; 306 KB)
+ Highlights Page (PDF; 101 KB)
By Adrian Janes
Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes is currently an Information Services Librarian with the London Borough of Havering.
In this role, he has particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by Free Pint Ltd. in 2007. He is also involved in training and publicising online reference resources and is a regular contributor to DocuTicker.
Adrian can be reached at email@example.com
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