Widely reported today was the fact that a large number of private data from the Veteran's Administration had been stolen. A quick glance of the articles suggested some wrongdoing on behalf of the worker who brought the data to his home (which is wrong, to be sure), but in fact the data was then stolen (inadvertently) when the VA employee's home was burglarized. The thief(s) may not even be aware that they stole the data, although gauging by the attention the press is giving this, they might have realized it by now.
While there are significant constraints placed on government employees to safeguard personal information, this just goes to show that the articulation point in the level of trust lies squarely at the individual. However, does that not mean that there aren't ways of tracking information as it moves (perhaps, inappropriately) from place to place?
I have had some conversations about data provenance - a means for effectively tattooing data with metadata specifying when it was copied, who copied it, where it came from, etc. Having this information available would at least help in tracking down the path by which stolen data moves when it resurfaces on a credit card at some distant location.
Anybody have any ideas or experience in this area?
Posted May 23, 2006 8:34 AM
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