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US disaster agency leaks survivors' data
The US Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) exposed 2.3 million disaster survivors to possible identity theft, according to a new report.

The Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General said Fema improperly shared personal records.

Survivors of hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria and the 2017 California wildfires were put at risk.

Fema admitted the leak but said it had found no evidence that the improperly shared data was compromised.

Authorities said Fema shared participants' home addresses and bank account information with a third party contractor.

The survivors provided information to Fema in the course of applying for shelters. More than 20 data fields were improperly shared with the contractor, the Office of Inspector General said in a memo.
usa  legal  privacy  fema  government  ethics  crime 
8 weeks ago by jtyost2
www.washingtonpost.com
The Federal Emergency Management Agency shared personal addresses and banking information of more than 2 million U.S. disaster survivors in what the agency acknowledged Friday was a “major privacy incident.”  via Pocket
IFTTT  Pocket  case-study  cybersecurity  data-security  fema  high-risk-scenario 
8 weeks ago by MelissaAgnes
FEMA Shared The Personal Information Of More Than 2 Million Disaster Survivors In A "Major Privacy Incident"
The Federal Emergency Management Agency shared sensitive data, including personal banking information, of 2.3 million disaster survivors with a housing contractor, putting them at risk of identity theft, in what the agency described as a “major privacy incident.”

The Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General on Friday released its findings that personal information of survivors of hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, as well the 2017 California wildfires, was mishandled by the FEMA. In response, the disaster relief agency said it had taken "aggressive measures" to correct the error.

"FEMA is no longer sharing unnecessary data with the contractor and has conducted a detailed review of the contractor’s information system," the agency said in a statement. "To date, FEMA has found no indicators to suggest survivor data has been compromised."
fema  privacy  security  software  databreach  from instapaper
8 weeks ago by jtyost2
Amid Climate Change, FEMA And Government Aid Widen Wealth Inequality : NPR
"But an NPR investigation has found that across the country, white Americans and those with more wealth often receive more federal dollars after a disaster than do minorities and those with less wealth. Federal aid isn't necessarily allocated to those who need it most; it's allocated according to cost-benefit calculations meant to minimize taxpayer risk.

Put another way, after a disaster, rich people get richer and poor people get poorer. And federal disaster spending appears to exacerbate that wealth inequality"
[...]
""We see these same patterns of wealth inequality being exacerbated in communities that receive more FEMA aid," explains sociologist Junia Howell of the University of Pittsburgh. Howell and Elliott have published multiple studies that find a pattern in who wins and who loses after floods and other disasters: Rich people get richer after a storm, and poor people get poorer.

"That's particularly true along racial lines, along lines of education, as well as homeownership versus renting," explains Howell. And rather than mitigating the inequity, federal aid exacerbates it, in part because of the biases Payton has noticed that are baked into how federal money is distributed."
climatechange  government  wealth  poverty  FEMA  HUD  inequality  disaster  floods 
11 weeks ago by conner
FEMA Flood Map Service Center | Search By Address
online maps for Flood Insurance determination using ESRI services
gis  maps  flood  insurance  FEMA  federal  ESRI 
11 weeks ago by rheotaxis
How Federal Disaster Money Favors The Rich
A new and growing body of research backs up Payton's observations. Studies by sociologists, as well as climate scientists, urban planners and economists, suggest that disasters, and the federal aid that follows, disproportionately benefit wealthier Americans. The same is also true along racial lines, with white communities benefiting disproportionately.

"Cities are often very unequal to begin with," says James Elliott, a sociologist at Rice University. "They're segregated and there are lots of income disparities, but what seems to happen after natural hazards hit is these things become exacerbated."

"We see these same patterns of wealth inequality being exacerbated in communities that receive more FEMA aid," explains sociologist Junia Howell of the University of Pittsburgh. Howell and Elliott have published multiple studies that find a pattern in who wins and who loses after floods and other disasters: Rich people get richer after a storm, and poor people get poorer.

"That's particularly true along racial lines, along lines of education, as well as homeownership versus renting," explains Howell. And rather than mitigating the inequity, federal aid exacerbates it, in part because of the biases Payton has noticed that are baked into how federal money is distributed.

NPR examined one federal disaster program and found evidence of exactly that phenomenon. The program uses federal and local money to purchase homes that have flooded or been affected by other natural disasters and permanently turn the lots into green space to reduce flood risk.

The buyouts are voluntary, and the homeowner can use the money to move to a safer place. As climate change drives more extreme rain, David Maurstad of FEMA says he expects the program to grow more in the coming years.

But buyouts have disproportionately gone to whiter communities. NPR analyzed records of about 40,000 property buyouts funded by FEMA and state and local governments and found that most of them were in neighborhoods that were more than 85 percent white and non-Hispanic. For context, the nation as a whole is 62 percent white/non-Hispanic, and disasters affect communities of all demographics. (Search the database of FEMA buyouts here.)
economics  inequality  politics  government  climatechange  fema  naturaldisaster  usa  race 
11 weeks ago by jtyost2
Trump vowed ‘A Plus’ relief for Alabama. That’s not what California and Puerto Rico heard.
Trump’s enthusiastic assurance that Alabama would get top-flight help contrasts sharply with his barbed rhetoric following horrific wildfires in California and Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, when he repeatedly threatened to cut off federal aid and picked fights with local politicians, in one instance calling the mayor of San Juan “totally incompetent."

The difference between Alabama and Puerto Rico and California, the president’s critics say, is obvious.

“The president really treats differently those people who have supported him in the past and those people who haven’t,” Brian Ott, a rhetoric professor at Texas Tech University, told The Washington Post. “Not all lives are equal in the eyes of the president. … The lives of red states matter, and the lives of blue states don’t."

It comes down to politics, said Ott, author of “The Twitter Presidency: Donald J. Trump and the Politics of White Rage.” In the 2016 election, Trump lost California by 30 percentage points. In Puerto Rico, which does not have a say in the presidential election, voters chose Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) over Trump in the Republican primary.

But Trump won Alabama by nearly 28 points.

“The president has politicized recovery efforts in a way we’ve never seen before,” Rafael Lemaitre, who was FEMA’s director of public affairs during the Obama administration, said in an interview. “FEMA needs to be as much of an apolitical agency as possible. It shouldn’t matter whether you live in a red state or a blue state.”
DonaldTrump  politics  fema  partisanship  government  ethics  corruption  usa  from instapaper
11 weeks ago by jtyost2
Twitter
PW exclusive: The ethics storm surrounding Trump's chief from NC - Watchdogs say Brock Long should be fired i…
FEMA  from twitter_favs
january 2019 by andriak

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