April 2007
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Privacy Hearings

Senate Armed Services Committee Enemy Combatant s

On Thursday, April 26, 2020 the Committee on Armed Services will hold a hearing tto receive testimony on legal issues regarding individuals detained by the Department of Defense as unlawful enemy combatants. The hearing will begin at 10:00 AM in room 216 Hart.

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Privacy Rulemaking

DHS Federal Register Notice on Employment Verification System

The Department of Homeland Security announced in a Federal Register Notice published on April 9, 2020 that it would be changing several systems for records for the Verification and Information System (VIS) Justice/INS-035 published October 17, 2020 (67 FR 64134) and Alien Status Verification Index (ASVI) Justice/INS-009 published September 7, 2020 (66 FR 46815). The established systems of records will be effective on May 9, 2020 and would also be used for purposes related to REAL ID. You may submit comments, identified by Docket Number DHS-2007-0010 by one of the following methods: Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: You may also submit comments by fax by following the instructions for submitting comments. Fax: 1-866-466-5370, or mail comments to: Hugo Teufel III, Chief Privacy Officer, Department of Homeland Security, Washington, DC 20528.

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Privacy Legislation

H.R. 936 Prevention of Fraudulent Access to Phone Records Act

A bill to prohibit fraudulent access to telephone records. Sponsor: Rep Dingell, John D. [MI-15] (introduced 2/8/2020)

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DC Privacy Events

DHS Privacy and Security Advisory Committee Meeting

The morning session of the meeting will consider REAL ID rulemaking. The regulations for the REAL ID where recently made public by the Department of Homeland Security. The meeting will take place from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza Washington National Airport, located at 1480 Crystal Drive, Arlington, Virginia 22202. Attendees should RSVP to or 571-227-3813. The meeting will be closed to the public from 12:30 p.m. until 1:30 p.m. for administrative purposes. Attendees should arrive by 8:45 a.m. or 1:15 p.m. for the public sessions.

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Coalition Joins to Demand Hearings on NSA Surveillance

A coalition of organizations representing consumer rights, privacy, peace, enviornmental, civil liberties, and civil rights joined a letter requesting that the House Committee on Energy and Commerce investigate the actions of telecommunication companies in the NSA domestic spying scandal.

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Coalition Meetings

Privacy Coalition 2007 Agenda

The Privacy Coalition adopts its agenda for 2007, which includes issue areas that will be of the highest priority for privacy, civil liberties, and consumer protection. The coalition's top priorities for the year include encouraging greater Congressional oversight of the information sharing environment, comprehensive medical privacy protection, repeal of the REAL ID, block federal employment identification system, end the use of National Security Letters, and protection of voter privacy.

View past meeting information...

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March 31, 2020

New Federal Report on Improving Financial Privacy Notices

A joint new report issued by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Trade Commission, the National Credit Union Administration, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Securities and Exchange Commission in intended to improve financial privacy notices.

The report's release concludes the first phase of an interagency project by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Trade Commission, the National Credit Union Administration, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Securities and Exchange Commission to explore alternatives for financial privacy notices that would be easier for consumers to read, understand, and use than many of the notices consumers currently receive from financial institutions. These six agencies were among those that jointly issued regulations in 2000 implementing the financial privacy provisions of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, but survey data indicate that many consumers neither read nor understand the notices financial institutions provide under those regulations.

The report's findings indicate that it is possible for financial privacy notices to include all of the information required by law in a short document that consumers can readily understand. The report fully describes the extensive research that underlies these findings and the development of a prototype simplified privacy notice. Over a 12-month period, researchers conducted focus groups and in-depth individual interviews with consumers throughout the United States. Based on consumers' reactions to sample privacy notices, the researchers modified content and design to create notices in a tabular format that improved consumers' ability to read, understand, and use the notices, as well as to compare the information sharing practices of different financial institutions.

The report concludes that consumers need a context for understanding information in financial privacy notices. The research shows that while there is a general awareness of information sharing practices, most consumers do not understand them. According to the report, consumers are overwhelmed by complex information, and simplification of financial privacy notices enhances consumers' ability to read the notices and make informed choices about the use of their personal information. The research also demonstrates that consumers more easily understand the important information in the notice when good design reinforces the content.

The six agencies, together with the Office of Thrift Supervision, will fund a second phase of the project, to be contracted separately. This research will involve interviewing a much larger group of consumers throughout the United States to measure the effectiveness of the prototype and other examples of notices. The agencies have deferred consideration of policy action with respect to financial privacy notices until the next phase of consumer testing is completed. At that time, the agencies expect to consider a full range of options for improving financial privacy notices in light of all their consumer research.

The agencies' efforts to improve these notices complement efforts to improve the effectiveness of privacy notices worldwide, as well as other government efforts to improve financial literacy.

Media Contacts:
Federal Reserve Deborah Lagomarsino (202) 452-2955
FDIC David Barr (202) 898-6992
FTC Jacqueline Dizdul (202) 326-2472
NCUA Cherie Umbel (703) 518-6337
OCC Bryan Hubbard (202) 874-5770
OTS Chris Smith (202) 906-6677
SEC John J. Nester (202) 551-4125

Posted by EPIC at March 31, 2020 11:15 AM