As several recent, private sector breaches have illustrated, personally identifiable information, or PII, is not immune to cyber threats.
The Social Security numbers of some 4 million current and former workers that were potentially compromised in a breach of an Office of Personnel Management database were not encrypted, said OPM Director Katherine Archuleta.
Hackers breached the Office of Personnel Management's computer systems and potentially compromised the personal data of about 4 million current and former employees, according to a statement from the agency emailed to reporters June 4.
In a new draft publication, the National Institute of Standards and Technology explores techniques for de-identification and summarizes almost 20 years of research.
The personal health information of tens of thousands of federal employees may have been compromised by the recently divulged security breach at Premera Blue Cross, which is based in Washington state.
When computer hackers gained access to the names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, member IDs, home and email addresses and employment information of 80 million Anthem Inc. customers, they also may have exposed the security vulnerabilities of electronic health information, according to the Congressional Research Service.
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) is seeking more information on a recent Office of Personnel Management data breach that could have exposed the personally identifiable information of nearly 50,000 federal employees.
Information systems at the Postal Service were recently compromised, potentially allowing access to employees' personally identifiable information. Breach data may include names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, addresses, beginning and end dates of employment and emergency contact information, said USPS in a Nov. 10 statement (pdf).
In an effort to be more transparent and participatory governments are making more data publicly available in machine-readable formats and under open licenses, but such noble aims are not immune to privacy issues, says a paper published June 18 in Future Internet, a Switzerland-based scholarly journal.
Three information technology officials from the Health and Human Services Department vouched for the security of healthcare.gov at a sometimes contentious House Oversight Committee hearing Jan. 16. No attacks on the site have been successful, said Kevin Charest, HHS's chief information security officer. He also called the code behind one widely reported denial-of-service attack attempt "rudimentary."