Magazine article ASEE Prism

Keeping It Personal

Magazine article ASEE Prism

Keeping It Personal

Article excerpt

WHEN IT COMES to protecting personal information like medical, financial, and library records, the federal government stumbles badly. That leaves the job to the states, which have a mixed record when it comes to safeguarding private data, says privacy rights advocate Robert Ellis Smith, publisher of the monthly newsletter, Privacy Journal (www.privacyjournal.net). The newsletter's website publishes a color-coded map-the result of 10 years of research and updated regularly-that ranks the 50 states by how rigorous their privacy laws are, placing them into one of five tiers, lop tier states include California. Wisconsin, New York, and Illinois. Among the second tier states are Georgia, Oklahoma, and Maine. Bottomranked states include Texas, Missouri. Delaware, and Mississippi. The absolute worst state: Wyoming. It has no protections for Social Security numbers, bank accounts, library records, or medical records including genetic data, and has no right-to-privacy law on its books. …

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