Federal Website Security Bill Moves Forward In House

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Legislation approved by the House Oversight Committee would require agency chief information officers to vouch to Congress for the security of any new government websites that gather citizens' personal information.

Rep Kerry Bentivolio (R-MI), introduced the legislation in December in the wake of reports that HealthCare.gov, the Obama Administration’s troubled online federal health insurance marketplace could have exposed insurance seekers’ personal information to hackers. During committee discussion, members focused on private sector data breaches at Target and other retailers.

There have been no successful hacks against HealthCare.gov and that the system adheres to government standards for information security, the Health and Human Services Department has said.

“We have a duty to protect our constituents, especially if they are being directed by our offices to use federal websites that require their personal information,” Bentivolio said. “If Americans cannot trust federal websites they will be wary of going on these websites and finding the information and services they need.”

Federal Website Security Bill Moves Forward In House