Security

The federal government: Your privates 'n its breaches

I don't think there are many people, in the United States or elsewhere, who trust the federal government when it comes to privacy and the handling of personal information. This News.com article discusses the results of a 2006 Privacy Trust Study of the United States Government by Ponemon Institute, which reaffirms my belief: "In federal e-security we trust? Not a chance."

According to the article, "The report ranks public perception of the privacy protection practices of federal agencies, based on responses to various survey questions. More than 70 agencies were evaluated, and each was assigned a privacy trust score by factoring together positive and negative survey responses."

Curious to know the results? Here are some of the most-trusted federal agencies:

  • U.S. Postal Service - #1 for the second year in a row (privacy test score of 82%)
  • Federal Trade Commission
  • Internal Revenue Service
  • Bureau of Consumer Protection
  • Department of Veteran Affairs
  • Census Bureau
  • Social Security Administration
  • National Institutes of Health
  • Federal Court System

Here are some of the least-trusted federal agencies:

  • Department of Homeland Security (privacy test score of 17%)
  • Transport Security Administration (privacy test score of 19%)
  • CIA (privacy test score of 21%)
  • Department of Justice
  • Office of the Attorney General
  • National Security Agency
  • Bureau of Citizenship & Immigration
  • Federal Bureau of Prisons

Does anyone else find these results almost humorous? Some of the federal agencies in the least-trusted list should have the primary goal of making us feel MORE secure. Go figure....   

About Sonja Thompson

Sonja Thompson started at TechRepublic in October 1999. She is a former Senior Editor at TechRepublic.

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