Nationwide Lobbying Push for Contractor Monitoring Software Alarms State CIOs

State chief information officers are pushing back against a wave of bills in state legislatures that would require government contractors to install monitoring software that CIOs say would put citizens’ personal information at risk and potentially put states in violation of federal privacy and security regulations.

Similarly written legislation has appeared in at least 23 statehouses since last year, all requiring any firm doing at least $100,000 worth of work for the state “use software to verify that all hours billed for work under the contract for services performed on a computer are eligible charges,” or similar language.

The software described by the legislation would take screenshots of contract workers’ computers, and even log all keystrokes and mouse activity.

The National Association of State Chief Information Officers has taken the unusual step of warning that this would pose a “significant risk” for citizens’ privacy and compliance with federal laws.

A software firm called TransparentBusiness, which sells monitoring software fitting this description, has been lobbying for such legislation.

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