NIST is out with new methods for agencies to handle data privacy concerns

In today's Federal Newscast, the National Institute of Standards and Technology has new guidance for federal agencies that need to reduce privacy risks in giant...

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  • The National Institute of Standards and Technology has new guidance for federal agencies that need to reduce privacy risks in giant sets of data. The latest draft of NIST Special Publication 800-188 focuses on the process of “de-identification” and how agencies can do it effectively. NIST is accepting public comments on the draft until Jan. 15. It’s the first update to publication in the past six years — and the institute notes privacy technology has come a long way since then.
  • The White House outlined plans for agencies to improve transparency in federal services. The Biden administration released its Open Government National Action Plan. It’s the fifth of its kind, but the first for this administration. Agencies have either taken action, or plan to take action, around five key themes. Many of the themes relate back to the administration’s priorities in the President’s Management Agenda. Much of the new action plan also builds on the White House’s emphasis to advance equity in federal services. (Federal News Network)
  • The National Archives and Records Administration laid out some plans to modernize its online platforms. The agency says it will launch a new catalog site within the next two years. That site, which maintains the database of government records, will feature an improved search function as well. NARA says it’ll also update its main website in the next couple of years. Finally, the agency says it’ll reach out to more underserved communities in an effort to identify and prioritize records important to those groups.
  • Congress wants to know just how bad the Defense Department’s software and technology problems are. The 2023 Defense Authorization Act directs DoD to initiate a study across the military services to look at how much time and money is lost when software and technology underperforms. The study will estimate lost working hours, and the effect those problems have on servicemember and employee retention. The department needs to develop a framework for assessing software problems, and improve the process for acquiring software and information technology. DoD has a year to complete the report.
  • After more than two years of litigation, it looks like the Defense Department will finally be able to implement a massive overhaul of its household goods moving system. Losing bidders had until this week to appeal a court decision that upheld DoD’s $17.9 billion award for the new Global Household Goods contract. Both bidders declined to do so by the deadline. Under the new system, HomeSafe Alliance will take charge of the entire military’s moving system, including subcontracts with thousands of local moving companies. Currently, DoD contracts with local movers and long-haul transportation companies one-at-a-time, each time a servicemember needs to move to a new duty station. (Federal News Network)
  • New York National Guard soldiers and airmen are helping with the rescue effort and aftermath of the massive blizzard that hit western New York last weekend. Four-hundred-sixty National Guardsmen conducted health and wellness checks with Buffalo police officers, cleared snow at critical locations and moved health care workers to and from hospitals. Soldiers and Airmen rescued 86 people from dangerous situations and helped transport patients to hospitals. Twenty-eight people died in the storm, which saw four feet of snow, multiple power outages and impassable roads.
  • The National Transportation Safety Board is calling out federal regulators in its Most Wanted List. The independent agency tasked with investigating transportation accidents released a “Most Wanted List” of recommendations for transportation regulators and industry leaders to address. In an announcement released Wednesday, the NTSB said that due to little progress made in the 2021-2022 Most Wanted List, it will extend it through 2023. Some recommendations on the Most Wanted List include eliminating distracted driving, improving rail worker safety and improving pipeline leak detection and mitigation.

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