For the first time in 2020, the federal government will allow millions of American households to fill out census forms using the internet. It’s part of the U.S. Census Bureau’s grand plan to leverage technology in a bid to shave billions off the price tag for the decennial count.
But even as the Government Accountability Office has listed cybersecurity as a “critical” challenge for the effort, bureau officials are nearly six months late in delivering a congressionally mandated report on data security procedures at the bureau.
The report appeared to have fallen almost entirely off the bureau’s radar until officials were prodded about it by members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee last week.
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In a June 14 letter to Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, the two top members of the oversight committee call the missed deadline “problematic,” pressed the bureau to deliver the report by the end of the month and asked agency officials to hand over all documents and communications relating to the drafting of the report.
“Many federal agencies store Americans’ personally identifiable information (PII), but few if any agencies store more such data than the Census Bureau,” wrote Reps. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, and Elijah Cummings, D-Md.
In the letter, Chaffetz and Cummings called Census a “prime target” for hackers, pointing to last year’s massive hack at the Office of Personnel Management, in which cyberintruders made off with background…