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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

March 2015 Monthly Meeting

R. David Edelman, the Senior Advisor for Internet, Innovation, and Privacy for the White House, joined the Privacy Coalition on March 27. Mr. Edelman discussed the recent privacy initiatives of the Obama Administration, including the recently released discussion draft of the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights Act. Mr. Edelman is responsible for policy development on issues related to the digital economy, including online privacy and Internet governance.

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May 28, 2020

May Monthly Privacy Coalition Meeting: SSA Creating Option for Beneficiary Applicants to be Screened by Experian

Alan Lane, Associate SSA, CIO, Office of Open Government briefed the privacy coalition on agency efforts to create an online benefit application process for those seeking benefits from the agency. Part of this new process would allow Experian the credit reporting agency to verify the identity of applicants register online for benefits. SSA signed a contract with Experian and the SSA new application process is not expected to be available until early next year. There are privacy issues with the accuracy of Experian's records, the use of phone numbers or addresses to authenticate applicants, as well as rampant identity theft fostered by the credit granting industry because of how they authenticate people when granting credit. Dr. Latanya Sweeney, a Distinguished Career Professor of Computer Science, Technology and Policy in the School of Science at Carnegie Mellon University, and Director and Founder of the Data Privacy Lab also briefed the Coalition on the privacy harms and uses of the proposed National Health Information Network's (NHIN) plans for sharing patient information when it goes into broad use in January. The Privacy Coalition has sought a meeting with National Coordinator Blumenthal on the issue of the NHIN and privacy. Dr. Sweeney identified several vulnerabilities in the current plan and stated that the planning is not considering policy approaches to minimize the potential harms nor create a matrix of approaches to the problem to better evaluate, which and under what circumstances each would be possible.

Posted by EPIC at May 28, 2020 9:04 AM