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Data Breaches, Correctional Security, Fentanyl: RAND Weekly Recap

August 2, 2019

This week, we discuss how consumers respond to data breaches like the Capital One hack; emerging threats at correctional institutions; U.S.–China cooperation on global health; preparing graduates for the workplace; how fentanyl is changing the U.S. drug policy landscape; and the cyber showdown between the United States and Russia.

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Data Breaches: How Consumers Respond

The recent Capital One hack reportedly compromised the personal data of more than 100 million customers. When an attack like this occurs, how do people typically respond? A 2016 RAND report found that very few consumers penalize companies that are hacked. In fact, only 11 percent of people who were notified of a data breach said they stopped doing business with the hacked company. And 77 percent said that they were highly satisfied with the company's post-breach response.

A guard leaves the Lee Correctional Institution in Bishopville, South Carolina, April 16, 2018, photo by Randall Hill/Reuters

A guard leaves the Lee Correctional Institution in Bishopville, South Carolina, April 16, 2018

Photo by Randall Hill/Reuters

Correctional Institutions Face New Security Challenges

Some threats to the security of correctional institutions—such as violence, escape attempts, and contraband—are as old as the institutions themselves. But as society and technology evolve, new threats are emerging, including hacking, synthetic drugs, and drones. These threats aren't confined to the walls of correctional facilities; many of them present risks to public safety. To better understand how to address these challenges, RAND researchers brought together a panel of experts.

A Chinese military health worker, part of a delegation sent by China to help in the fight against Ebola, has her temperature taken as she arrives at Roberts airport outside Monrovia, November 15, 2014, photo by James Giahyue/Reuters

A Chinese military health worker, sent to help in the fight against Ebola, has her temperature taken upon arrival in Monrovia, Liberia, November 15, 2014

Photo by James Giahyue/Reuters

Can the United States and China Collaborate on Public Health Issues?

Both the United States and China face global health threats, including pandemics, bioterrorism, and problems brought on by climate change. Can the two powers work together to address such issues? They have in the past. But according to congressional testimony by RAND's Jennifer Bouey this week, growing tensions between Washington and Beijing may jeopardize cooperation. There are, however, some joint efforts that could be feasible. For example, collaboration between the U.S. FDA and Chinese FDA could help improve regulation in China's booming pharmaceutical industry.

An engineer teaching an apprentice, photo by monkeybusinessimages/Getty Images

Photo by monkeybusinessimages/Getty Images

Work-Based Learning Could Better Prepare Graduates for the Workplace

Most U.S. employers say that students aren't acquiring the right skills. Specifically, they cite a lack of important competencies, such as critical thinking and active listening. Making work-based learning a bigger part of higher education could help, say RAND experts. Evidence suggests that job shadowing, skills-specific training, apprenticeships, and other programs can help students become more work-savvy. And in turn, employers can gain more-qualified workers.

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer opens a plastic bottle to test the pills inside at the International Mail Facility at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois, November 29, 2017, photo by Joshua Lott/Reuters

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer opens a pill bottle for testing at O'Hare International Airport, November 29, 2017

Photo by Joshua Lott/Reuters

Fentanyl Is Changing the U.S. Drug Policy Landscape

In 2018, nearly two-thirds of U.S. opioid overdose deaths involved synthetic opioids, primarily fentanyl. That's because these substances are much more potent than heroin or prescription painkillers. As fentanyl permeates the market, the risk of fatal overdoses increases. These synthetics are “stretching our ability to respond” to the opioid crisis, according to recent congressional testimony by RAND's Bryce Pardo. What are the available policy options?

Steam rises from the chimneys of a thermal power plant behind the Ivan the Great Bell Tower in Moscow, Russia January 9, 2018, photo by Maxim Shemetov/Reuters

Steam rises from the chimneys of a thermal power plant behind the Ivan the Great Bell Tower in Moscow, Russia, January 9, 2018

Photo by Maxim Shemetov/Reuters

U.S. and Russian Cyberattacks Are Targeting Civilian Infrastructure

For several years, the United States and Russia have been targeting each other's infrastructure with cyberattacks, particularly power grids. But recent reports suggest that this confrontation is ratcheting up. How can Washington address this cyber showdown without risking the safety of civilians? According to RAND's Joe Cheravitch, it's important to treat this as a long-term struggle—one that requires innovative and thoughtful solutions, not reflexive ones.

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