Open Government Initiative may increase security woes

Experts call for standards to avoid exposure of sensitive information

The Obama administration's Open Government Initiative to make government information more accessible could lead to the inadvertent exposure of sensitive data, according to an article by Computerworld.

The push for transparency and Congress’ passage of the administration’s $787 billion stimulus prompted the White House and agencies to quickly build or add new features to Web sites to make more government data available and keep the public informed about how they spend federal funds.


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In March, the administration tapped Vivek Kundra, former chief technology officer of the District of Columbia, as the federal chief information officer. And one of Kundra's first acts as federal CIO was announcing plans to establish a governmentwide repository of data feeds, which he called Data.gov. The federal government planned to make more than 100,000 data sources available on Data.gov by the middle of June.

Security experts contend that without new data classification or other governmentwide standards, sensitive information and other data could be leaked to the public.

"When data previously available from a few hundred government sources suddenly starts becoming available via thousands of Web sites — including widely used social networks like Facebook and MySpace — there need to be controls in place to protect against inadvertent leaks," Computerworld said.

To read the complete Computerworld article, click here.

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