NASCIO Looks at Privacy Implications of Spam, Phishing and Spyware

Welcome to the Jungle

by / February 15, 2005
In response to the growing privacy concerns associated with Internet and email threats, NASCIO has released Welcome to the Jungle: The State Privacy Implications of Spam, Phishing and Spyware.

This trio of threats not only causes frustration and anxiety among computer users, but can potentially compromise the privacy of citizen and government information through identity theft scams. The first portion of this research brief produced by NASCIO's Privacy Committee provides an overview of these potential privacy threats, including a discussion of their impact on state business processes. It is followed by a review of the individual and unique privacy risks posed by spam, phishing and spyware, and concludes with a look at recent efforts to deal with these threats.

As states enhance and expand their use of e-government applications and email, they must protect against spam, phishing and spyware, which could deter citizens from engaging in electronic transactions. Technical solutions as well as law enforcement and educational efforts can help to ensure citizens' confidence that their personal information is protected while conducting business online and corresponding via email.

"State CIOs must take disciplined measures now to ensure that citizens feel confident that their privacy is protected while conducting e-government and other electronic transactions," said Lester Nakamura, chair of NASCIO's Privacy Committee and administrator of Hawaii's Information and Communication Services Division, "Not only must we work to minimize the privacy risks associated with spam, phishing and spyware, but we must maintain vigilance for other Internet and email threats to privacy that are on the horizon."

In addition to raising CIOs' awareness of the potential privacy risks of spam, phishing and spyware, the brief also provides additional resources for those who want to learn more about how to counter-act these Internet and email threats.