Privacy and Disasters


The Austin Chronicle recently published a story discussing the impact privacy laws are having on data sharing during the recent hurricanes. According to the story, FEMA and the Red Cross each maintain separate databases of evacuee information.......There are several obvious problems with multiple databases. First, multiple databases increase the cost, workers, forms and equipment necessary to collect and maintain the data. Second, they increase the chances that the data can be hacked or stolen. Third, they add to the confusion for evacuees, since these people are presented with multiple information forms and a similar number of privacy policies at a time of crisis in their lives.

Perhaps instead of disparate databases, each maintained by a separate entity, it's time to visit the idea of a national "disaster database." This database could be maintained by one organization with one privacy policy, and any entity accessing the database would be expected to contribute to the costs of operating it. Privacy and Disasters | PrivacySpot.com - Privacy Law and Data Protection

Linked by shanmuga Saturday, 29th October 2005 2:06AM