Veteran's Day

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Protecting Texans' Identities:
The Challenges of Securing Privacy
in Transparent Government

Texans have long cherished their right to be left alone. Few things are more precious to us than having our privacy respected and protected. In today's technological world, where data takes the form of bits and bytes, it is increasingly important that government agencies be diligent in ensuring that a citizen's personally identifiable information is not compromised.

This report examines the volume and types of personal information that Texas state government agencies collect, maintain and – in some cases – are authorized to disclose and sell.

In recent years, we've brought greater transparency and openness to Texas state government. Informed citizens make our government stronger. We see that every day.

But when the public's right to know the business of its government threatens to reveal personally identifiable information, it creates a tension that must be acknowledged and addressed. It is the responsibility of government officials and concerned citizens alike to work together to strike the right balance between these competing concerns.

I am hopeful that this report will contribute to the discussion and lead to solutions that will keep Texas government open and transparent, while ensuring that our citizens' personally identifiable information is protected.

Sincerely,

Susan Combs

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