Government Agencies Spend Half as much on Privacy Protection as Private Companies

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Recent breaches of government computer systems should not be so surprising considering that federal agencies in some cases spend less than half as much on protecting privacy as do companies in the private sector.


In a worldwide survey of 800 privacy professionals, agency employees in 70% of U.S. government programs say they’re not being given enough money to do their jobs properly, according to Government Executive. A survey (pdf) conducted by the International Association of Privacy Professionals and EY (formerly Ernst and Young) showed that government agencies on average spend $130,000 on privacy protection. That compares to $250,000 in a regulated private company, such as banking and healthcare, and $300,000 in a non-regulated company.


Nor are government agencies using all the tools they could to ensure privacy. Those in government were the least likely among the three categories to use internal audits and privacy working groups as part of their privacy strategies.


Other survey questions provided similar results. Sixty-three percent of government respondents said they’re not spending enough on privacy training, compared to 48% overall, and 57% say they’re not spending enough on certification, as opposed to 36% of all those surveyed.


Those might be the reasons why those tasked with ensuring privacy in government agencies believe there’s little room for advancement. The survey found that 58% of government respondents said there’s little or no opportunity for advancement in their group, compared to 46% overall.

-Steve Straehley


To Learn More:

Agencies Report Low Budgets and Staff for Online Privacy Protection (by Charles S. Clark, Government Executive)

IAPP-EY Annual Privacy Governance Report 2015 (International Association of Privacy Professionals) (pdf)

Chinese Stole Personal Details of 7% of Americans in OPM Hacks (by Danny Biederman, AllGov)

Is the Chinese Hacking of U.S. Government Employees’ Data Really any Different than What the U.S. Does to China? (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

A Look at How State Agencies Fail to Protect Personal Information (by Ken Broder, AllGov California)


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