COMPUTERS Don't Tread on My Data

No State shall . . . deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law AMENDMENT XIV SECTION I COMPUTERS Don't Tread on My Data Protecting individual privacy in the informat

Richard Kusserow is a new kind of gumshoe. He is the master datatective of the Reagan Administration. Soon after becoming inspector general for the Department of Health and Human Services in 1981, Kusserow decided to crack down on fraud. The new boss directed that the agency's mammoth IBM computer system be used to compare a list of everyone on the Social Security rolls with a compilation of every Medicare recipient known to have died. The project uncovered 8,000 dead people to whom Social Security checks were still being mailed, like clockwork, once a month. In some cases, the checks were being...