Consumer Watchdog Urges President To Seek Mandatory Encryption Of Sensitive Data

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SANTA MONICA, CA — Consumer Watchdog today called on President Obama to back mandatory encryption of sensitive data like health records to prevent damaging data breaches like the Anthem Inc. hack that compromised the records of 80 million people.

The nonprofit nonpartisan public interest group made its call as Obama was speaking at The White House Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection being held at Stanford University.

“Incredibly Anthem stored extremely sensitive data about its customers in the clear without encryption,” said John M. Simpson Consumer Watchdog Privacy Project director. “Simply put, that should be illegal.”

Much of the Administration’s cybersecurity efforts focus on voluntary standards developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, as well as call for businesses to share information with each other and the government.

“Voluntary standards are insufficient to protect consumers. There should be real, enforceable regulations with teeth,” said Simpson.




John M. Simpson
John M. Simpson
John M. Simpson is an American consumer rights advocate and former journalist. Since 2005, he has worked for Consumer Watchdog, a nonpartisan nonprofit public interest group, as the lead researcher on Inside Google, the group's effort to educate the public about Google's dominance over the internet and the need for greater online privacy.

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