Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Privacy 'bill of rights' exempts government agencies

"Two U.S. senators introduced sweeping privacy legislation today that they promise will "establish a framework to protect the personal information of all Americans."

"There is, however, one feature of the bill (PDF) sponsored by senators John Kerry (D-Mass.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) that has gone relatively unnoticed: it doesn't apply to data mining, surveillance, or any other forms of activities that governments use to collect and collate Americans' personal information..."

"But the measure applies only to companies and some nonprofit groups, not to the federal, state, and local police agencies that have adopted high-tech surveillance technologies including cell phone tracking, GPS bugs, and requests to Internet companies for users' personal information--in many cases without obtaining a search warrant from a judge.."

"It also doesn't apply to government agencies including the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Social Security Administration, the Census Bureau, and the IRS, which collect vast amounts of data on American citizens."... 

"Another feature missing from Kerry and McCain's bill of rights: a strict requirement that would force federal agencies to notify American citizens in the event of a data breach."

Great article!

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