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    Cyber Breaches Threaten Personal Data and Privacy - US GAO

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    According to a GAO report released on Wednesday, the US Government Accountability added the protection of personal information and privacy from cyber-attacks to a list of high risk challenges that the US federal government should take action to protect.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) added the protection of personal information and privacy from cyberattacks to a list of high risk challenges that the US federal government should take action to protect, according to a GAO report released on Wednesday.

    “Advances in technology which have dramatically enhanced the ability of both government and private sector entities to collect and process extensive amounts of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) pose challenges to ensuring the privacy of such information,” the report said.

    The GAO issues the biannual report on government operations to identify high risk areas due to vulnerability to fraud, waste, abuse and mismanagement, as well as the need for changes to address economy and efficiency.

    The GAO said the government improved on 18 out of 30 areas identified as “high risk”, but it expanded the risk for federal information systems, critical cyber infrastructure, and protecting the privacy of personal information.

    While the White House and federal agencies have moved to protect cyber assets, the GAO said, there has been an increase in cyber security incidents targeting the federal government and private sector.

    “Both federal agencies and private companies collect detailed information about the activities of individuals-raising concerns about the potential for significant erosion of personal privacy,” the GAO said.

    In response the GAO recommended Congress amends privacy laws to protect personal information that is collected, used and maintained by the federal government.

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