A new Office of Inspector General (OIG) report for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) found that veterans’ sensitive personal information was accessible on a shared network by veterans service organization (VSO) officers who didn’t represent the veterans. […]

NetChoice, a business trade group focused on promoting free speech and free enterprise on the internet, launched a public campaign on Oct. 7 to defend law enforcement’s use of facial recognition technology, and is taking aim at anti-facial recognition effort in Massachusetts.






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With the upcoming release of the Federal Data Strategy’s final action plan on the horizon, Federal chief data officers (CDOs) agreed on Sept. 25 that the strategy holds plenty of promising features to advance their work, including an official CDO council that will help them share ideas and experiences.






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Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of the Fiscal Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Department of Treasury Amy B. Edwards highlighted today how her department went about simplifying the process for which customers can see how funds are spent.






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The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced in a press release today the appointment of Kshemendra Paul as the agency’s chief data officer (CDO).






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USDA Agriculture

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has continued its progress toward modernizing IT and data analytics capabilities across the agency in accordance with the President’s Management Agenda (PMA) with a set date of Sept. 30, 2019, to “provide USDA leadership with instant access to key data on program activities and trends.”






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While the Department of Education is somewhat on track to meet its goal of improving student privacy and data security at institutions of higher education, it still has room to improve, according to an update to the Department of Education’s agency priority goals – part of the President’s Management Agenda (PMA) – released September 19.






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data privacy, people, personal data, binary

Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., on Sept. 18 expressed general support for Federal data legislation to protect consumer privacy and to preempt state-level data privacy laws, but also cautioned that she does not want to see the U.S. copy the European Union’s General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR) framework.






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Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Wash., a long-time advocate for stronger data privacy rules and current sponsor of the Information Transparency and Personal Data Control Act, said today it’s unlikely that Congress will take action on this issue this year.






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A new report from the Pew Research Center found that 56 percent of Americans “trust law enforcement agencies to use [facial recognition] technologies responsibly.” In addition to trusting law enforcement with facial recognition, 59 percent of the 4,272 U.S. adults surveyed said that they believe it is “acceptable for law enforcement to use facial recognition tools to assess security threats in public spaces.”






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In a follow up audit for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the agency’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) found that the EPA has completed all 13 corrective actions from previous audits that were related to improving Federal records management and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) practices.






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Cloud Connect
workforce federal workers industry-min

A Federal hiring freeze ordered in a January 2017 presidential memo resulted in “significant” staffing reductions across the State Department – including the inability to fill two Senior Executive Service cybersecurity positions, which then delayed implementing an enterprise risk management program for IT systems.






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Ron Wyden Oregon
elections, election security, voting

In response to the 2017  Cambridge Analytica scandal, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., introduced the Voter Privacy Act on July 31. The legislation would give voters greater control over how their personal information is used by political candidates and campaigns in Federal elections. Feinstein’s office said currently there is no Federal law regulating the collection and use of voter data by political organizations.






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Microsoft HQ
Facebook

The Department of Justice (DoJ), along with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), announced today that Facebook has agreed to pay a $5 billion fine regarding data privacy claims. The fine is the largest civil penalty ever imposed by the FTC.






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Ron Wyden Oregon

Following the Federal government’s settlement with Equifax regarding its 2017 data breach, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., pledged to renew his push towards passing data privacy legislation. In a statement on July 22, Wyden urged the passage of his Consumer Data Protection Act, which he initially introduced in November of 2018.






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Pentagon Military Defense DoD

The Defense Department on July 12 released its Digital Modernization Strategy, but for followers of DoD IT policy developments, the high points of the strategy cover already-familiar territory including cloud, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, and workforce development.






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The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Inspector General has flagged cybersecurity and data management issues as top management challenges for the agency in FY2019 that need to be tackled.






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