May 15, 2017

Wyden Pushes for Stronger Security in Collection of Personal Information

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today pushed a federal panel to recommend that strong data security measures be employed by government agencies collecting and analyzing personal information in an upcoming report to Congress on evidence-based policymaking.

In a letter today to the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking, Wyden stressed the need to use privacy enhancing technologies (PETs) to protect private data that is collected and stored in government databases.

The bipartisan commission was established by Congress in 2016 to recommend ways the government can secure and analyze data to improve public policy. The 15-member panel has held several public meetings over the last year and is expected to issue its recommendations to Congress sometime this fall.

“As the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking works to finalize its conclusions and recommendations to Congress, I write to remind the commission that new government databases, even if they are created for well-intended purposes, can both threaten the liberty of Americans and create an irresistible target for criminal hackers and foreign governments,” Wyden wrote to the commission.

“For that reason, I strongly urge the commission to recommend that privacy enhancing technologies (PETs), such as secure multi-party computation (MPC) and differential privacy, must be utilized by agencies and organizations that seek to draw public policy related insights from the private data of Americans.”

Read the full text of the letter here.



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