NFOIC: With cybersecurity hot, now is the time to open government

Commentary: Opening data to the public isn’t at odds with cybersecurity, but supports it, says the executive director of the National Freedom of Information Coalition.

With governments focused today on tighter security measures surrounding sensitive data, now is an opportune time to adopt reforms that also remove obstacles to open public records and improve access.

Updating open government laws, reforming policies and practices can yield numerous benefits — economic and political — and free resources to focus on malicious cyberattacks and ongoing data security.

State and local governments face a real threat from hackers infiltrating government IT systems and accessing personal and sensitive information. State CIOs, once again, identified security as their top priority in the National Association of State Chief Information Officers’ Top Ten list for 2019.

However, government has an obligation to provide ongoing access to public records that is distinct from its responsibility to prevent illegal access to private information.

The best way to enact reforms is for government to take a holistic approach to the way public institutions manage transparency and public records. With better legislation and administrative guidelines, agencies can vastly improve access to public records and meet the growing challenge of digital public records as they are created.  Here are four ways to make government more open: (Read more…)