Texas Reconsiders Citizen Privacy

In the wake of September’s Equifax breach, CIO Todd Kimbriel talks about how to securely represent Texans digitally.

by , / November 21, 2017

After the breach of credit reporting firm Equifax was made public Sept. 7, exposing the personal information of more than 145 million Americans, many state tech leaders saw it as an opportunity to bring attention to the importance of cybersecurity.

At the annual National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) conference in early October, Texas CIO Todd Kimbriel told Government Technology that the Equifax incident, and similar cyberevents such as the breach on global consulting firm Deloitte, don’t impact his state’s cyberstrategy, but “they certainly shine a light on the continuing need and importance of cybersecurity and security of citizen data.”

Kimbriel explained that his agency makes securing citizens’ personal information a No. 1 priority, noting that the state’s consolidated data center already adheres to the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) standards, and that Texas is working on a small blockchain pilot to track cybersecurity readiness across state agencies.

Where he sees these headline-grabbing breaches impacting the public sector, however, is in terms of how different government levels securely address citizen identity. In this video, Kimbriel suggests that relying on a single federal identifier — the Social Security number — may not be the most reliable way for state governments to manage resident data.

 

Lauren Harrison Managing Editor

Lauren Harrison is the managing editor for Government Technology magazine. She has a degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and more than 10 years’ experience in book and magazine publishing.

Noelle Knell Editor

Government Technology editor Noelle Knell has more than 15 years of writing and editing experience, covering public projects, transportation, business and technology. A California native, she has worked in both state and local government, and is a graduate of the University of California, Davis, with majors in political science and American history. She can be reached via email and on Twitter.