Privacy: Preventing and Responding to Improper Disclosures of Personal Information

GAO-06-833T Published: Jun 08, 2006. Publicly Released: Jun 08, 2006.
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The recent security breach at the Department of Veterans Affairs, in which personal data on millions of veterans were compromised, has highlighted the importance of the federal government's processes for protecting personal information. As the federal government obtains and processes information about individuals in increasingly diverse ways, it remains critically important that it properly protect this information and respect the privacy rights of individuals. GAO was asked to testify on preventing and responding to improper disclosures of personal information in the federal government, including how agencies should notify individuals and the public when breaches occur. In preparing this testimony, GAO drew on its previous reports and testimonies, as well as on expert opinion provided in congressional testimony and other sources.

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