How will Missourians be protected if their personal information is shared?

Nicole Galloway
Jul 7, 2017 · 2 min read

Compiling large amounts of personally identifiable citizen information in a federal database raises real concerns about cybersecurity and privacy protections. Missourians value their privacy and expect our state’s elected officials to respect and honor that value.

By handing over large amounts of this information in bulk to a federal task force that intends to release it publicly, the state cedes its authority to ensure the information is used in accordance with the law. For example, to protect Missouri consumers, the law prohibits the use of even publicly available voter information for commercial purposes.

I have serious concerns about the federal government’s data collection project and master voter database. What steps are being taken to ensure the information will ultimately be used appropriately and consistently with Missouri law? What safeguards are being taken to ensure this information will remain secure during transmittal, receipt and storage in the federal database? How is restricted information being protected, including home addresses, phone numbers, and voting locations of survivors of domestic violence enrolled in the state’s “Safe at Home” program?

These questions and more must be addressed in order to ensure the information will be used appropriately and without jeopardizing Missouri citizens’ privacy.

Lengthy debates have occurred in the General Assembly over the establishment of a Prescription Drug Monitoring Database, over creating a driver’s license compliant with federal REAL ID standards, and the possible sharing of firearms permit information with a federal law enforcement investigator.

Surely this issue rises to the level of a serious debate among our state’s leaders and elected officials.

Nicole Galloway

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Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway has placed an emphasis on identifying waste and fraud in government and holding those responsible accountable.