Major data breaches have become common headlines in an increasingly digital world. Recently, for example, one was announced by Capital One which affects about 106 million individuals. Data breaches are essentially situations involving unauthorized access to material containing sensitive personal information which could compromise confidentiality. They generate substantial costs from an individual, corporate, and economic perspective.
Information is essential to decision making, whether for an individual, a family, a business, or a government. Without accurate input data, it is virtually impossible to draw meaningful conclusions and make effective decisions. When it comes to the data that we use to assess the economy, the watchwords are "Just the facts, ma'am!" That is why I and my colleagues in the economics profession became more than a little agitated when reports recently surfaced that the Trump Administration had instructed the Council of Economic Advisors to make the data support an unrealistically high growth rate that would allow deficits to fall to fund new programs.