Umass Professor Reports for 2020’s Data Security


August saw the publishing of a new report with an outline for protective steps to be taken following the 2020 elections and the security and privacy of peoples data.

As part of the Academy Election 2020 project, the National Academy of Public Administration stepped forward to recommend new and advancing actions to be taken in 2021 by the next Presidential administration.

With American data security becoming ever more vulnerable and prime targets for abuse and hacks, the assurances required for all sectors from public to private is at an all-time high in how to protect data online.

Top among the recommendations by the Academy’s Working Group on Data Security and Privacy are the creation and implementation of public-private Presidential Commissions on security and privacy. Also highlighted was creation of Workforce Advisory Commissions on areas such as cybersecurity and privacy as well as the development of a policy framework to support and protect data security and individual privacy.

Policies would incorporate working with Congress to protect consumer online data and enact comprehensive privacy laws for national data to bring in innovation and economic growth for companies in the US.

It was also advised building on bipartisan congressional Cyberspace Solarium Commissions to implement released recommendations.

Jane Fountain, celebrated University Professor of Political Science and Public policy as well as director at the National Center of Digital Government expanded on the report that with the coronavirus, Black Lives Matter protests and attention to policing bringing the inter-related issues of data privacy and security to the news forefront, as well as more people working from home and students learning remotely with surges in online activities, policymakers are facing an urgent need to ensure privacy and security of data, transactions and platforms.

It is hopeful that the report puts data privacy and security on the priorities of the next administration, although it did not choose a side in relation to candidacy for the 2020 election or which it would be better suited towards.

The report clearly specified that no matter which administration in 2021, “whether reelected or newly elected” has the opportunity to act quickly and strategically on the issues by leveraging the work and policy done over several years along with the expertise existing within federal and state governments on top of academia and private sectors.