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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

December 2011 Privacy Coalition Meeting

Guest speakers included Gail Hillebrand, Associate Director of Consumer Education and Engagement with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau met with the Coalition. She was joined by Brett Kitt, Senior Counsel and Claire Stapleton, Chief Privacy Officer with the Consumer Financial Protection Agency. the agency is providing financial education to consumers and opportunities to register mortgage and credit card company complaints. The Consumer Financial Protection Agency also allow consumers to tell their stories regarding experiences with financial products. Kathleen Styles, Chief Privacy Officer for the U.S. Department of Education, updated the Coalition on topics discussed in May including new FERPA regulations, increasing privacy assistance to the education community, and student data release policy. Julian Sanchez, Research Fellow, with CATO, briefed the Coalition on the House Judiciary Committee Mark-up of the Managers Amendment to the Stop Online Piracy Act. Gilad Rosner, PhD Candidate, School of Computer Science University of Nottingham, will be discussing the Public Policy of Unlinkability just at the beginning of his work on a comparative study of the US and Germany.

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Privacy Legislation

FISA Reform Bill Introduced in the House

Representatives Conyers, Nadler, and Scott introduced two bills today that would amend the PATRIOT Act and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The Patriot Amendments Act of 2009 will enhance reporting and judicial oversight of law enforcement powers, including the National Security Letter process. The FISA Amendments Act of 2009 will place new limits on the government's ability to collect and store Americans' communications without a warrant and repeals retroactive immunity.

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DC Privacy Events

Monthly Privacy Coalition Meeting Hosts Julie Brill New FTC Commissioner

Julie Brill one of the two new members of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) meet with the Privacy Coalition. She wanted to hear from members about their concerns regarding the work of the FTC and their expectations for the agency moving forward. The meeting also featured discussions regarding Congressman Markey's new bill the e-KNOW Act to allow electricity customers to have access to Smart Meter data.

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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

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

July 2014 Monthly Meeting

July 25, 2014

Rebecca Richards, the National Security Agency's first Civil Liberties and Privacy Officer joined the Privacy Coalition in July to discuss her new role. The dialogue with Ms. Richards was led by Georgetown Law Professor and Director of Georgetown's Center on National Security and the Law, Laura Donohue. Ms. Richards discussed her responsibilities including providing expert advice to the Director of NSA, overseeing the NSA's civil liberties and privacy related activities, and developing measure to strengthen NSA privacy protections. Privacy Coalition member, Brad Jansen, discussed proposed regulation in New York that threatens Bitcoin and financial privacy. Additionally, Privacy Coalition members, Mark Lerner and Gerald Jenkins, discussed the privacy issues with mandating biometrics for driver licenses.

Posted by Jeramie D. Scott on July 25, 2014

June 2014 Monthly Meeting

July 1, 2014

John Carlin, the Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division of the Department of Justice, was able to join the us to discuss the work of his division. The National Security Division is a relatively new division of the Justice Department having been created in 2006. The division is responsible for representing the government in front of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and providing oversight of various national security activities of the Intelligence Community.

Posted by Jeramie D. Scott on July 1, 2014

May 2014 Monthly Meeting

May 30, 2014

The Department of Justice's Chief Privacy and Civil Liberties Officer, Erika Brown Lee, joined the Privacy Coalition to discuss the priorities of her office. She was joined by Director Joo Y. Chung and Deputy Director Kristi Lane Scott. The Privacy and Civil Liberties Office is responsible for the Department of Justice's compliance with the Privacy Act of 1974 and the privacy provisions of both the E-Government Act of 2002 and the Federal Information Security Management Act.

Posted by Jeramie D. Scott on May 30, 2014 headlines

EPIC to Oppose Changes to Judicial Rules that Would Allow Police Hacking (November 5, 2014)

EPIC Urges Department of Defense to Adopt Strong Open Government Rules (November 4, 2014)

Federal Appeals Court to Hear Challenge to NSA Surveillance Program (November 3, 2014)

EPIC, Coalition Urge Investigation of Closure of Open Government Requests (November 2, 2014)

EPIC Launches FOIA.ROCKS (October 29, 2014)

FCC Levies $10 Million Fine Against Carriers for Breach of Consumer Privacy (October 24, 2014)

Senator Rockefeller Questions Whisper About Privacy Practices (October 24, 2014)

50 Organizations Urge Obama to Update Freedom of Information Act (October 24, 2014)

EPIC Spotlight: Domestic Drones, Surveillance, and the Privacy Risks (October 23, 2014)