Not long after a data breach involving the Department of Veterans Affairs, David M. Walker, Comptroller General of the United States and head of the Government Accountability Office, gave testimony to a House committee on steps that can be taken to reduce the likelihood of personal data being stolen. The first is to conduct a privacy-impact assessment before deploying new systems; Walker noted that agencies do not always do this. He also recommended limiting the collection of personal information, and limiting the time that such information is retained. @ "Privacy: Preventing and Responding to Improper Disclosures of Personal Information is available at SM Online.
A January report from the Government Accountability Office reveals that 911 emergency calls may not be cyber safe. The document addresses five agencies that coordinate with state and local governments on cybersecurity-related activities, including the Department of Homeland Security, and cites the increased information-sharing between these agencies as a security concern. “Because these critical systems are becoming more interconnected, they are also increasingly susceptible to cyber-based threats that accompany the use of Internet-based services,” states the report. “This, in turn, could impact the availability of 911 services.”