Today, January 28, is Data Privacy Day, a global effort to empower individuals and encourage businesses to respect privacy, safeguard data, and enable trust. LMI is proud to champion these ideals today and every day. As a trusted government partner for nearly 60 years, we work with many federal customers to store and manage the personally identifiable information (PII) of millions of Americans.
“As a trusted third party, we help customers think about the environment in which their records are living and the policies that govern the data,” said Kristen Cheman, director of data engineering. “Who has access to the data? What level of access is needed? How and when is the data anonymized? Those questions have major privacy and security implications.”
Recently, LMI has helped healthcare agencies identify and remove individuals’ social security numbers from healthcare data. We are proud of our contributions to this initiative, which will reduce the likelihood of identity theft for U.S. Medicare beneficiaries.
LMI takes its reputation as a good steward of government data seriously, in part because we could not do much of our work without it. As a trusted third party in the Healthcare Fraud Prevention Partnership program, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), LMI takes in data from public and private entities—including law enforcement agencies and health insurance providers. By combining anonymized, disparate data sets from these sources, we can conduct rigorous analyses and more accurately identify indicators of insurance fraud.
“There’s tremendous value in bringing the data sets together because you notice patterns that may not be obvious if you’re looking at just one organization's data,” Cheman said. “LMI has robust advanced analytics capabilities, but we can’t tackle the tough problems without the data, and that requires the trust of our partners and clients. Our secure advanced analytics platform incorporates privacy and governance best practices that ensure that we handle data securely and ethically in each and every instance."
While LMI and government agencies have an explicit and moral obligation to safeguard data, particularly PII, data privacy starts at the source: you. With smartphones in hand, our society generates a dizzying amount of data every day. We create much of that data ourselves, posting billions of photos, videos, and comments on social media. Use a mobile app like Grubhub and even your lunchtime delivery now has a digital trail. Concerns about how internet service providers, social networking companies, and app developers use this data has brought heightened awareness to data privacy. Here are basic steps you can take to protect your own data privacy:
- Enable multifactor authentication. Ever receive spam from a friend’s email or see a Facebook post that seems odd coming from that person? A breached personal account is a gross violation of privacy that puts you and others at risk of further malicious online activity. Learn how to enable stronger authentication on your accounts from Lock Down Your Log In, part of the Stop. Think. Connect. Global cybersecurity education campaign.
- Manage your privacy settings. Learn how to update your settings on the most popular online and social media platforms with this guide from StaySafeOnline.org. Adjust settings to your comfort level of sharing.
- Review location settings on your mobile devices. Your phone’s GPS and location settings offer many benefits, especially when navigating in an unfamiliar area. But know how to make your location private when it’s no longer needed. Learn how to adjust location settings on Apple and Android devices.