The Government Should Not Be Collecting Our Personal Data. Here’s Why.

As the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking (CEP) decides how much data the federal government should be allowed to collect and share on American citizens, it’s prudent to consider what damage has resulted from misuse of the data the government already has. Just two examples – one newly discovered – illustrate the danger of giving the government more and more access to citizen data, even with good intentions.

CEP was created by bipartisan legislation to review current data-collection by the federal government and develop “recommendations for increasing the availability and use of this data in support of rigorous program evaluation.” One of the proposals CEP is considering – advocated by wealthy and powerful players – is to create a centralized database where the various federal data silos could be linked to create one-stop shopping for researchers and program evaluators.

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