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Congressional Hearing on Employment Verification

The House Ways and Means Committee held a hearing on employment verification. Several hearings have be held by the committee on the proposal to create a mandatory national government employment eligibility system. The current private sector system is voluntary.

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Privacy Rulemaking

Coalition Calls for Transparency in Public Consumer Database

In comments to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, over 40 public interest organizations urged the Bureau to publish consumer complaint narratives. The Bureau currently publishes limited complaint information on financial products and services, including debt collection and credit reports. The Bureau is now considering a plan to provide consumer perspectives on experiences with the financial industry. The consumer groups support this effort and also recommend obtaining consumer consent and removing personally identifiable information before posting the complaints.

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Privacy Legislation

President Pushes Consumer Privacy Forward

The President announced that he will move forward the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights, a model framework for federal consumer privacy legislation.

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Coalition Members Promote Consumer Privacy Protection

Fifteen Privacy Coalition members representing millions of consumers and Internet users, sent a letter to the Senate Commerce Committee urging Congress to do more to protect consumer information. "Consumers today face an unfair choice: either stay offline and ignore the benefits of new technology, or plug in and run extraordinary risks to privacy and security," they wrote. "It shouldn't be this way. Consumers are more concerned about the privacy threat from big business than from big government," the letter continues. The coalition, which includes the American Civil Liberties Union, Center for Digital Democracy, Consumer Action, Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union, Consumer Watchdog, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Electronic Privacy Information Center, National Consumers League, Privacy Activism, Patient Privacy Rights Foundation, Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, Privacy Times, U.S. PIRG, and World Privacy Forum, argues that current privacy laws are inadequate, and that industry self-regulation has failed, as evidenced by millions of records compromised in data breaches.

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Coalition Meetings

November 2013 Monthly Meeting

Commissioner Maureen K. Ohlhausen of the Federal Trade Commission joined the Privacy Coalition to discuss the consumer privacy related work of the FTC including the FTC's recent workshop on the Internet of Things and her remarks at the workshop. Rachel Levinson-Waldman, Counsel to the Brennan Center's Liberty and National Security Program discussed her recent report, What the Government Does with American's Data. Pam Dixon, Executive Director of World Privacy Forum, provided an update on the comments her organization submitted to National Institutes of Health regarding the agency's draft genomic data sharing policy. David Jacobs, EPIC Consumer Protection Counsel, updated the group on Facebook's change to its Data Use Policy.

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The Privacy Coalition is a nonpartisan coalition of consumer, civil liberties, educational, family, library, labor, and technology organizations that have agreed to the Privacy Pledge. Members of the coalition have been meeting since 1995, but formalized the organization in February 2001. View a list of member organizations.

Latest Posts

ODNI Privacy Officer to Speak at February meeting

January 20, 2015

Alexander W. Joel, the head of the Civil Liberties and Privacy Office for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence will join the Privacy Coalition in February. Mr. Joel's responsibilities include incorporating privacy and civil liberties into the policies and procedures of the Intelligence community, overseeing compliance, and reviewing complaints of possible abuses.

Posted by Jeramie D. Scott on January 20, 2015

President Pushes Consumer Privacy Forward

January 12, 2015

The President announced that he will move forward the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights, a model framework for federal consumer privacy legislation.

Posted by Jeramie D. Scott on January 12, 2015

President to Propose Legislation to Safeguard Student Data

The President will propose legislation to safeguard student data, to "ensure that data collected in the educational context is used only for educational purposes." The Student Digital Privacy Act, based on a landmark California statute, will prohibit companies from selling data for non-educational purposes and from using data for targeted advertising.

Posted by Jeramie D. Scott on January 12, 2015

October 2014 Monthly Meeting

October 31, 2014

Travis Leblanc, the FCC's Enforcement Bureau Chief, joined the Privacy Coalition in October. Mr. Leblanc discussed the FCC's recent privacy-related enforcement actions including actions against Verizon, Marriot, and two phone companies--TerraCom and YourTel America. Mr. Leblanc also discussed the parameters of the agency's authority to protect consumers' privacy. Additionally, the Privacy Coalition was joined by Rachel Bovard, a policy advisor for the Senate Republican Committee. Ms. Bovard briefed the Coalition on efforts to add privacy protections for DNA collected during newborn screening procedures.

Posted by Jeramie D. Scott on October 31, 2014

September 2014 Monthly Meeting

September 30, 2014

James A. Baker, the FBI's General Counsel, joined the Privacy Coalition in September. Also joining the Coalition from the FBI was Monica Ryan, the head of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Unit within the Office of the General Counsel. Mr. Baker discussed the Next Generation Identification program, the Rap Back program, and the use of facial recognition among other topics. The Coalition was also briefed by Ed Hasbrouk on a recent inquiry by Senator Rockefeller into airline privacy practices. Sai briefed the Coalition on his pro se Freedom of Information Act/Privacy Act case against the TSA.

Posted by Jeramie D. Scott on September 30, 2014

Privacy.org headlines

EPIC Defends Political Gatherings at Hotels in Brief for Supreme Court (January 30, 2015)

Senators Challenge Verizon's Secret Mobile Tracking Program (January 30, 2015)

Privacy Board Renews Call for President Obama to End Bulk Collection (January 30, 2015)

DOJ Reverses Course on Forensic Evidence Committee After Federal Judge Resigns in Protest (January 30, 2015)

National Security Agency Violates Defense Department Privacy Rules (January 28, 2015)

FAA Settles Case Testing Legality of Commercial Drone Ban (January 27, 2015)

EPIC Urges House to Safeguard Consumer Privacy (January 26, 2015)

EU Privacy Supervisor Sets Out New Agenda (January 26, 2015)

EPIC Gives Freedom Awards to Peter Hustinx and Philip Zimmermann (January 22, 2015)