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Internet Privacy

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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

July 2015 Monthly Meeting

Ambassador Daniel Sepulveda joined the Privacy Coalition on July 10. Ambassador Sepulveda serves as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and the U.S. Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy in the State Department's Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs. The Ambassador discussed security, encryption, and privacy as it relates to maintaining an open internet.

Also joining the Privacy Coalition in July was Assistant Secretary Lawrence Strickling, who serves as the Administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). Assistant Secretary Strickling joined the Privacy Coalition on July 24 to discuss the NTIA's recent privacy multistakeholder process on facial recognition and upcoming multistakeholder processes for drones and cybersecurity. He also discussed the current state of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

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Privacy Pledge

Privacy is one of America's most fundamental values.

The Fourth Amendment states that "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated." In addition, the U.S. has adopted many laws protecting Americans from privacy invasive practices by both the public and private sectors.

Recognizing the need to protect this essential freedom, I, (insert Member's name), pledge to my constituents in (State and District) and to the American people that I will support a privacy framework to safeguard the rights of Americans in this information age.

This framework includes:

  1. the Fair Information Practices: the right to notice, consent, security, access, correction, use limitations, and redress when information is improperly used,
  2. independent enforcement and oversight,
  3. promotion of genuine Privacy Enhancing Technologies that limit the collection of personal information and legal restrictions on surveillance technologies such as those used for locational tracking, video surveillance, electronic profiling, and workplace monitoring, and
  4. a solid foundation of federal privacy safeguards that permit the private sector and states to implement supplementary protections as needed.