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Government Sharing Of Personal Information

Government sharing of personal information across agencies and services, state, provincial, and federal or with the private sector for various purposes is becoming a grave concern.

There is no consensus framework for assessing or evaluating data sharing.

While data sharing goes on it does so under the complicated framework of state, provincial and federal laws that are ill equipped to deal with the realities of moving private, sensitive data around to so many different destinations.

Data sharing includes data matching, joint access to repositories of data, file duplication, and any method of data access that enables more than one agency or organization to use personal data.

Data sharing results in personal data moving out of traditional data silos and being used in new ways, by different agencies, or for new or different purposes.

Once that data is in possession of the agencies, there may be many different ways it is shared and transported, some secure some not, and others not secure at all.

This can be especially true when government agencies operate the systems over so many different levels and also deal with the private sector on a contract and consulting level.

The current situation involves barriers to old problems, such as a simple data match, secure data sharing (internally and externally), and the challenge that many agencies face in trying to protect their data, a fear of losing influence and budgets. A concern that relates directly to financial and reputational as well as legal risk should a data breach occur.

The primary focus should be on common standard security practice to protect privacy. Often a “loss of private data” is a lost trust in government.
Secure common data sharing should be of utmost importance to protect the privacy of all citizens.