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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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Meeting Calendar Archives

Head European Data Protection Official Meets with Privacy Coalition

Giovani Buttarelli, the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), joined the Privacy Coalition on March 6. Mr. Buttarelli discussed his agenda for privacy protection he outlined in a recent speech at the Computers, Privacy & Data Protection Conference. Mr. Buttarelli was confirmed as the EDPS last December. In his role, he is responsible for ensuring that European institutions and bodies respect the right to privacy.

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.

December 2014 Monthly Meeting

FTC Commissioner Terrell McSweeny joined the Privacy Coalition in December to discuss the FTC's work on privacy issues. The FTC recently provided comments to NHTSA regarding privacy and vehicle-to-vehicle communications, and filed a complaint against debt brokers alleging the illegal exposure of personal information of consumers. Last month, the FTC settled charges that TRUSTe deceived consumers through its privacy seal program.

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.

September 2013 Monthly Meeting

Joo Chung, the Director of the Office of Privacy and Civil Liberties (OPCL), joined the Privacy Coalition to discuss the work of her Office in ensuring the Department of Justice's privacy compliance with the Privacy Act of 1974. The OPCL keeps an extensive list of the Department's Systems of Records Notices. Director Chung was joined by OPCL Senior Counsel, Bill Miller and OPCL Attorney-Advisor, Kristi Lane Scott. Scott Michelman, an attorney with Public Citizen, discussed the shortcomings of the class action settlement in Fraley v. Facebook. Charlie Leocha, the Director of the Consumer Travel Alliance, spoke about the need for the Department of Transportation to put resources towards consumer privacy.

July 2013 Monthly Meeting

David Medine, the Chairman of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board joined the Privacy Coalition to discuss the Board's priorities and the logistics of creating an independent agency from scratch. Douwe Korff, a professor of international law in London discussed Europe's response to the disclosure of the PRISM program and NSA's surveillance in general. Aaron Titus reported on the IRS's careless treatment of Social Security Numbers. Brad Jansen provided an update on ECPA reform.

June 2013 Monthly Meeting

Jessica Rich, the recently appointed Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection, joined the Privacy Coalition for a discussion on what her bureau's priorities should be going forward. Director Rich was joined by Maneesha Mithal, Associate Director of the Division of Privacy & Identity Protection within the Bureau of Consumer Protection. EPIC provided an update on its petition to force the NSA to do a public rulemaking on the agency's monitoring and collection of communications traffic within the United States.

May 2013 Monthly Meeting

Edith Ramirez, Chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission, briefed the Coalition on the Commission's priorities during her term. Chairwoman Ramirez was joined by her senior legal advisor Janis Kestenbaum and the Commission's Chief Technologist, Steve Bellovin. The Commission is currently conducting an investigation into the data broker industry. The Commission is also accepting comments regarding the privacy and security implications of the Internet of Things, and will hold a public workshop on November 21.

February 2013 Monthly Meeting

Helen Goff Foster, Director for Privacy Civil Liberties with the National Security Staff of the White House briefed the Coalition on the Cyber-security Executive Order and Public Policy Director recently adopted by the Administration. Prior to the meeting Jay Stanley with the ACLU the Vice Chair of the Identity Ecosystem Steering Group (IDESG) provided a briefing on the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyber Space and the need for civil society organizations to register as official members of the committee. Stephen Buckner, Director and Steve Jost, Associate Director for Communications Census provided a briefing on how the agency is working to make data more usable and available to the public. Peter Pietra, Privacy Officer, Transportation Security Administration Department of Homeland Security spoke on the topic Secure Flight and TSA Risk Based Screening. Malavika Jayaram, Visiting Scholar at the Annenberg School for Communication University of Pennsylvania discussed India's Identity Crisis: Biometrics or Bust? Dr. Katherine Albrecht with CASPIAN outlined the Campaign Against RFID Chips on Student IDs.

November 2012 Privacy Coalition Meeting

Jonathan Cantor, Acting Chief Privacy Officer, Department of Homeland Security was the guest speaker. The Coalition received a briefing from Justin Rood, Senior Investigator for the Minority Homeland Security and Government Affairs Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations' regarding the committee's Fusion Center Report. Hemant Pathak, Assistant General Counsels for Microsoft spoke about the company's Privacy Projects on HIPAA and FERPA. J. Bradley Jansen, Director Financial Privacy and Human Rights briefed the coalition on a sign-on letter calling for Reform of the Electronic Communication Privacy Act and why changes were needed because of its relevance to online Genealogy research and the SSDI Death Master File.

October 2012 Privacy Coalition Meeting

Michael E. Reheuser Director, DOD, Defense Privacy and Civil Liberties Office was the guest speaker at the October meeting of the Privacy Coalition. Members of the Privacy Coalition provided input on the "Lame Duck" Congress regarding legislation and activity that would impact privacy issues.

September 2012 Privacy Coalition Meeting

Our speaker was William (Bill) Binney is a National Security Agency (NSA)whistleblowers who worked at the agency for decades. He worked at the for almost forty years and along with J. Kirk Wiebe developed a revolutionary information processing system called ThinThread that they believe could have detected and prevented the 9/11 terrorist attacks. But NSA officials ignored ThinThread in favor of Trailblazer a much more expensive program that not only ended in total failure, but cost taxpayers billions of dollars. Post-9/11, about a decade ago, he and Mr. Wiebe retired from the NSA and began to speak out about the NSA wrongfully applying a component of the ThinThread system to illegally spy on the private communications of U.S. citizens. We also heard from Edward Hasbrouck who gave an update on the State Department's revival of its proposed passport forms.

July 2012 Privacy Coalition Meeting

Our guest speaker was Beckwith Burr, Deputy General Counsel and Chief Privacy Officer with Neustar, Inc. who discussed a recent news report that warrantless Law Enforcement cell-phone Records requests from providers were increasing. This trend is of particular interest because of the dramatic shift from land line phone services to cell and smart phone users who may not be receiving 4th Amendment protections. We also heard from Josh Harris, Associate Director, Office of Technology and Electronic Commerce, United States Department of Commerce, on the topic of the Asian Pacific Economic Council and their data privacy regime. Bob Gellman, a leading Privacy Consultant, moderated a discussion on the many Federal Multi-stakeholder meetings taking place on topics related to privacy and consumer protection. The meeting ended with a briefing by Slade Bond, Technology Policy Fellow Congressman Hank Johnsonon on a campaign called AppRights.

June 2012 Privacy Coalition Meeting

Our guest speaker was Maneesha Mithal, FTC Associate Director of the Division of Privacy and Identity Protection, Bureau of Consumer Protection Ed Felten FTC Technology Director (by phone) to discuss the agency's work on Do-Not-Track. We also had a briefing from Jeff Chester, President of Center for Digital Democracy, Lee Tien with EFF and John Simpson with Consumer Watchdog on the work of the W3C on Do-Not-Track. David Bruggeman, Senior Public Policy Analyst with the Association for Computing Machinery provided an update on the NTIA's First Privacy Multi-Stakeholder Meeting. The Coalition also heard from Nicole M. Austin-Hillery, Director and Counsel for the Washington Office The Brennan Center for Justice New York University School of Law on the status of Strict Voter ID and Election Protection efforts. There were updates from Robert Ellis Smith, Publisher of Privacy Journal on Rhode Island Senate bill 2386 on the SSN, Credit Bureau and ID Theft bill's passage, and Sharon Bradford Franklin, Senior Counsel, The Constitution Project on the status of Senate confirmation of the Chair for the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Protection Board. The members of the Board have been confirmed, but the Chair is the only full time Board member and is essential to the Board becoming operational. The meeting wrapped up with a presentation by John Villasenor visiting the Brookings Institution and a faculty member at UCLA on the topic of data storage trends and Ubiquitous Surveillance.

May 2012 Privacy Coalition Meeting

Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler who in June will begin his term as the next President of the National Association of Attorneys General spoke about his consumer Privacy Agenda. Maryland's Governor Martin O'Malley signed Senate Bill 433 making it the first state law "[p]rohibiting an employer from requesting or requiring that an employee or applicant disclose any user name, password, or other means for accessing a personal account or service." The law would protect the privacy of Facebook and private e-mail users by blocking employers from threatening employees with disciplinary actions for refusing to disclose access information. We will also hear from Elizabeth R Withnell, who is with the Chief, Privacy and Civil Liberties Unit Office of the General Counsel Federal Bureau of Investigation.

April 2012 Privacy Coalition Meeting

Laura K. Donohue, Associate Professor of Law at Georgetown Law spoke on the topic of biometrics and surveillance in public spaces. The amount of data individuals are sharing through social networking applications and platforms is finding it way to secondary uses such as facial recognition. How the use of this data may change the dynamics between citizens and government is not clear, what is understood is that consumers are sharing information under one set of expectations while their information is being used much more broadly. Robert Ellis Smith, publisher of the Privacy Journal, provided a report on credit reports and their influence on hiring practices, as well as brief the Coalition on State privacy legislative trends. Aaron Titus Introduced Identity Finder. Tom Kowalick, IEEE Committee on Automobile Black Box Recorders: Seeking support for a White House Petition. Currently a bill pending in Congress (MAP-21 Section 31406) and a regulation (49 CFR 563) pending at the Office of Budget and Management would mandate that "beginning with model year 2015, new passenger vehicles sold in the United States [will] be equipped with an event data recorder(EDR)."

March 2012 Privacy Coalition Meeting

Danny Weitzner, Esq. White House Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Internet Policy with The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. He briefed the Coalition on The White House Consumer Data Privacy in A Networked World: A Framework for Protecting Privacy and Promoting Innovation in the Global Digital Economy. President Obama's Forward to the report and the report's Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights articulate the importance of privacy in the digital information age. John Morris, head of the National Telecommunication and Information Administration's Office of Policy Analysis and Development (OPAD) spoke on the multi-stakeholder process outlined in the White House consumer privacy paper. The Coalition also received a briefing from Vernon Mosley a senior cybersecurity engineer at the Federal Communication Commission in their Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau's Cybersecurity and Communications Reliability Division. Naomi B. Lefkovitz with the National Program Office (NPO) at National Institute of Science and Technology. She briefed the Coalition on the NPO's efforts to establish a process to move forward with the administration's National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace. She was joined by Jeremy Grant who leads the NPO.

February 2012 Privacy Coalition Meeting

Benjamin P. Peck, Senior Legislative and Policy Associate
Dēmos briefed the Coalition on HR. 321, the " Equal Employment for All Act" that would ban the practice of using credit checks for employment decisions. Among the reasons we believe credit checks should not be used in employment decisions is that this practice constitutes an invasion of job applicants' privacy. Introducing a person's credit history into the employment process means that potential employees are being forced to discuss their medical history and marital status as a condition of employment. Medical bills and divorce are among the most common sources of credit problems.

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.

November 2011 Privacy Coalition Meeting

Speakers included Lora Hubbel State Representative South Dakota on REAL ID rollout and privacy problems of US Citizens who are not able to get supporting documents that are required to receive an ID. Ed Mierzwinski, Director of Consumer Programs US PIRG, to talk about Consumer Protection and the Obama Administration. Briefing by Beth Rosenberg, Technology Fellow, EPIC, "Web Analytics and the Future of Behavioral Marketing."

October 2011 Privacy Coalition Meeting

Meeting speakers included Annie Wilcox Boyajian Legislative Assistant Congressman Tim Huelskamp (KS-01) who briefed the the Coalition on a proposed HHS Rule Change on Data Collection Related to Health Care Reform.
Zach Cafritz, Legislative Assistant, Congressman James P. Moran, briefed the coalition on abuse of a Deceased Child's SSN to receive a Child Tax Credit from the IRS refund. Deborah Caldwell-Stone, Deputy Director, Office for Intellectual Freedom American Library Association discussed ALA's Plans for Choose Privacy Week. Rainey Reitman, Activism Director EFF will provide an update on EFF's projects. Dave Moss Director of Development and Operations, for http://www.YouthRights.org, introduced the organization to the Privacy Coalition.

September 30 Privacy Coalition Meeting -- Privacy and Biometrics from ATR to IDs

Peter Pietra, Chief Privacy Officer for the briefed the Privacy Coalition on changes made to millimeter wave Automated Target Recognition (whole body scanning) technology to address privacy and screening of air passenger. There are two forms of ATR the other is known as Backscatter x-ray, which does not have the features described by recent changes. The agency continues to work with Privacy Coalition members with constituencies, which are impacted by the deployment of the technology. Other challenges regarding the deployment of the technology include litigation by the Electronic Privacy Information Center. The Coalition also received a briefing on proposed changes to update the Federal Privacy Act from Evan Cash, Professional Staff Member with the Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management the Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia he is staffer to Senator Daniel K. Akaka, Chairman, Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. We also received a tutorial from Joy Kasaaian, International Biometrics Group, on the Science and Technology of Biometrics Identity.

September 9, Privacy Coalition Meeting -- Gamers, Gaming and Privacy

Joshua Fairfield,Associate Professor of Law, Washington & Lee University School of Law briefed the coalition on Gamers, Online Gaming, and Privacy. Professor Fairfield is an expert in the law and regulation of e-commerce and
videogames. Prof. Fairfield's research and scholarship explores the law and
economics of online contracts and the application of standard economic
models to virtual environments. The Coalition also received an update on Tor as a Privacy Enhancing Technology in 2011, by Andrew Lewman, Executive
Director of The Tor Project. Andrew Lewman outlined the Tor Project's mission as a non-profit organization that provides research and free software that protects online privacy and anonymity. Lewman manages The Tor Project's business operations, support, and advocacy roles while also serving on its board of directors.

July Privacy Coalition Meeting -- DOC's Mutli-stakeholder Proposal

Mark Cooper, Research Director, Consumer Federation of America provided a lecture to the coalition on the proposal by the Department of Commerce and supported by the Federal Trade Commission to develop a multi-stakeholder approach to federal privacy policy development. Christopher Calabrese,Counsel to the ACLU Technology and Liberty Project, briefed the coalition on Electronic Communication Privacy Act proposed reform and the 112th Congress.

June Privacy Coalition Meeeting -- Cybersecurity and Privacy

Jeremy Grant, NSTIC National Program Director, NIST was the June meeting's guest speaker. He heads the National Program Office, established within the Department of Commerce, to bringing the public and private sectors together to issues related to Cybersecurity. He was joined at the meeting by Ari Schwartz: Senior Internet Policy Advisor at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and he is also working on the Internet Policy Task Force at the Department of Commerce. Prof. Peter Swire: former Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy. Prof. Swire recently returned to his position as the C. William O'Neill Professor of Law at the Moritz College of Law of the Ohio State University. Prof. Swire offered insight into the policy debate and options open to the Administration in shaping domestic and International online Cybersecurity Policy.

Computers Freedom and Privacy Conference June 14-16 2011

The 21st Annual Computers Freedom and Privacy Conference took place at the Georgetown Law Center in Washington, DC June 14-16, 2011. The meeting engaged an international group of stakeholders representing advocacy organizations, legal scholars, academics, researchers, technologists, business, and government leaders on the most pressing issues of the digital information age.

April Privacy Coalition Meeting

Kathleen Styles the new Chief Privacy Officer with the Department of Education was the guest speaker for the April meeting. Edward Hasbrouck Author and Travel Rights Advocate, briefed the Coalition on the State Departments System of Records Notice for a new passport application and the public reaction to requirements for the collection of detailed information from applicants. Bridget P. Kessler, Clinical Teaching Fellow, Immigration Justice Clinic Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, will brief the coalition on the DHS Secure Communities Office. Per W Olstad, Acting Legal Counsel, Change to Win, briefed the
coalition on the organization's targeting last year by "Team Themis" a consortium of government intelligence and defense contractors. M. Chris Riley with Free Press discussed the merger of AT&T; and T-Mobile's US Operation.

March 2011 Privacy Coalition Meeting

Data Protection leaders from several International Data Protection authorities, which included the European Data Protection Authority, the Article 29 Working Group, the French Data Protection Authority, representatives from Mexico's Data Protection Authority, which will be hosting the 33rd Annual Conference of Privacy and Data Protection Commissioners later this year. Also participating in the meeting was the Chair of the Steering Committee for the 32nd Annual Conference of Privacy and Data Protection Commissioners.

February 2011 Privacy Coalition Meeting

Senator Franken's staff briefed the coalition on his new appointment to Chair the Senate Judiciary's Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law. The coalition also heard from the parents of a victim of the video surveillance conducted by the Lower Merion School District as well as a local Austin Texas effort to stop the deployment of Full Body Scanners in that city's airport. Jeff Chester, Founder Center for Digital Democracy, was awarded EPIC's 2011 US Privacy Champion Award Presentation.

November 2010 Privacy Coalition Meeting

Ed Felten, the the Federal Trade Commission's new Chief Technology Officer was the featured speaker. Ralph Nadar, New City Councilman Greenfield, and Jaspreet Sing, Legal Director, with UNITED SIKHS followed with different perspectives on the discussion of the Department of Homeland Security's decision to deploy body scanners as a primary screening tool at airports. A number of citizen driven campaign efforts have resulted as the traveling public reacted to the screening technology and "enhanced" pat-downs at airport security check-points.

Fall Meeting Privacy Coalition

The meeting was an opportunity to evaluate the departing 111th Congress and the incoming 112th Congress regarding Privacy Coalition members' privacy policy initiatives. Presentations were made by Edward Hasbrouck with the Identity Project; Edward Mierzinski, US PIRG; Shahid Buttar with the Bill of Rights Defense Committee; Michelle Richardson with the ACLU; and Aaron Titus with the Liberty Coalition. The meeting review the prospects for consumer protection, and national security legislation in the 111th Congresses' Lame Duck and the new 112th Congress. A report was made regarding the fate of members of the Congress over the last few Federal election cycles who were vocal supporters of the Fourth Amendment. A presentation and discussion was held on a long standing issue regarding the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and transparency at the Department of Homeland Security. The most pressing FOIA challenge for open government organizations were the limited tools they could deploy to ensure that agencies follow the Open Government directive issued by President Obama on his first day in office.

Hosts EU Delegation Domestic Privacy Discussion September Meeting

The Privacy Coalition hosted a discussion with a European Union Delegation, moderated by Charlie Firestone with the Aspen Institute, on key privacy issues. The topics discussed included the US Federal Privacy Act (Robert Gellman), Data Sharing and National Security (Lillie Coney-EPIC, Kate Martin-Center for National Security Studies, and Barry Steinhardt-Privacy International), Data Sharing and Consumer Rights, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (Nadhira Al-Khalili, CAIR), and growing use of EU consumer data by US online industry (Jeff Chester-CDD).

Mary Ellen Callahan Discusses DHS's Role in Cybersecurity

Mary Ellen Callahan, Chief Privacy Officer for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) met with the Privacy Coalition at its July 2010 meeting. She spoke about the agency's Cybersecurity programs that provide oversight and compliance for all of DHS and .gov. Congresswoman Jackie Speier's Legislative Counsel Erin M. Ryan also spoke at the meeting regarding a new bill on Financial Privacy Information. Other topics addressed at the meeting included: better FBI oversight and use of the Guidelines for Threat Assessment; Children as subjects of surveillance; the introduction of a new health policy advocacy network; and broader use of RFID tagging on consumer products.

Jon Leibowitz FTC Chair Met with Privacy Coalition in June

Jon Leibowitz, Chair of the Federal Trade Commission met with the Privacy Coalition for its regular monthly meeting. The Coalition also received a briefing by Jumana Musa, Policy Director for the Rights Working Group on the Department of Homeland Security Secure Communities Program. Jeff Greenspan, Campaign for Liberty provided a briefing on Arizona's SB 1070 law and its impact on federal access to state held databases. Odetta Wilkens, Executive Director of Equal Justice Alliance, on Animal Rights Activists and Enforcement of the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act provisions, which allow prosecutions based on web page publishing of political views or reporting of protest events if any of the provision of the law are violated by protesters.

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.

Privacy Coalition Members Join Letter that Results in Howard Schmidt Meeting

Over 30 organizations including many Privacy Coalition participants, launched a campaign to obtain a meeting with Howard Schmidt, the White House Cybersecurity Coordinator. Groups joining the letter included the ACLU, American Library Association, Bill of Rights Defense Committee, Liberty Coalition, NAACP, Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, Center for Media and Democracy, and the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. The White House has agreed to the meeting, which follows Senate confirmation of Keith B. Alexander, director of the National Security Agency, to lead the U.S Cyber Command. Civil society organizations have expressed concern about the growing role of the NSA in cyber security. EPIC is currently in litigation with the NSA to obtain the secret policy for NSA surveillance authority.

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.

2010 Annual Privacy Coalition Meeting

The annual meeting of the Privacy Coalition held in Washington DC on January 21-23, 2010 hosted discussions among activists, policy makers, government decision makers, and federal chief privacy officials. Congressman Bennie G. Thompson served as the Keynote speaker at the dinner held on Thursday evening. At the event Beth Givens, founder and director of Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, was presented with the EPIC's U.S. Privacy Champion Award for 2010. Meeting participants. Meeting Agenda.


November Mary Ellen Callahan Meets with Privacy Coalition Members

Mary Ellen Callahan, DHS CPO meets with the Privacy Coalition for the November 2009 meeting. This was the first meeting between the Privacy Coalition and the Obama Administration's Department of Homeland Security's Chief Privacy Officer. The hour long discussion covered a range of topics and ended with an invitation to Coalition members to participate in quarterly meetings hosted by the DHS CPO's office. Also speaking at the meeting was Dr. Marios Savvides, founder and Director of CyLab's Biometric Center at Carnegie Mellon University and a Research Assistant Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at CMU. He spoke about advances in biometric identification systems that go beyond the need to create databases of those enrolled for authentication purposes.

Privacy Coalition October Monthly Meeting

The October meeting of the Privacy Coalition featured presentations from Christopher Olsen, with the Federal Trade Commission's Division of Privacy and Identification Protection who spoke about the agency's work to re-access the enforcement of consumer privacy protection. He also briefed the coalition on the series of round table discussions the agency plans for December 7, January 28, and March. The October meeting of the Privacy Coalition featured a briefing by Prof. Joel Reidenberg and Jamela Debelak on Children's Educational Records and Privacy.

Miriam Nisbet Discusses Government Openness with the Privacy Coalition

Miriam Nisbet the Director of the Office of Government information Services for the National Archives spoke to the Privacy Coalition about the work of the office to provide the public with greater transparency on the work of federal government agencies. The Coalition also heard fromThomas Tamm, the former DOJ Lawyer who exposed the illegal government massive warrantless  wiretapping program on the subject of FISA reform. Tyler Moran, Policy Director, National Immigration Law Center, briefed the Coalition on proposals for E-Verify a Department of Homeland Security project to screen applicants and existing employees against government databases. There are accuracy and privacy rights issues with the current proposal. Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel with the ACLU discussed Biometric National ID as part of the Comprehensive Immigration Reform proposals. Digital biometric identification systems are being discussed as a way to manage access to societal benefits and services. There are accuracy, reliability, integrity, privacy, and security challenges to using biometric ID systems.

Nancy Libin, DOJ's CPCLO Meets with Privacy Coalition

Ms. Libin, serves as the Department of Justice (DOJ) Chief Privacy and Civil Liberties Officer, (CPCLO) as well as the Department's senior policy adviser on privacy and civil liberties issues related to counterterrorism. Ms. Libin also advises the Attorney General on issues of privacy policy related to the Department's compliance with privacy laws and regulations. The CPCLO periodically reviews and investigates the Department's activities to ensure the DOJ is adequately considering privacy and civil liberties. In carrying out these responsibilities the CPCLO works, collaboratively with Department components and Bureaus such as the Office of Legislative Affairs and the Office of Legal Policy the Criminal Division National Security Division, and the FBI. Ms. Libin spoke to the Privacy Coalition at its monthly meeting in July.

Wade Henderson Executive Director for the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Leads Discussion on REAL ID

Wade Henderson, Executive Director of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights led a discussion on REAL ID at the 13th Annual meeting of the Privacy Coalition. This has been a major issue for the privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties community during 2006 and will continue to be a top priority for 2007.

Dale Oak, Professional Staff Member for the House Committee on Appropriations Meets with the Privacy Coalition

Dale Oak, Professional Staff Member, with the House Committee on Appropriations briefed the Privacy Coalition at the February 2007 meeting on the work of the committee and privacy.

Ruchi Bhowmik with Senator Obama's Staff Briefed the Privacy Coalition on new Deceptive Campaign Practices Legislation

Ruchi Bhowmik, Professional Staff person, with Senator Obama's office met with the Privacy Coalition at the March 2007 monthly meeting to brief the group on a new bill to address deceptive campaign practices.

Juliet K. Choi, American Red Cross Acting Director for Preparedness & Response Meets with Privacy Coalition

Juliet K. Choi, with the American Red Cross, met with the Privacy Coalition at the May 2007 monthly meeting to discuss the issue of disaster relief and privacy protection for victims. Following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita the non-profit volunteer agency has worked with local chapters to develop guidelines on assistance to victims and data collection, share, and use.

Cindy Rosenwald, New Hampshire State Reprentative Meets with Privacy Coalition on Prescription Drug Privacy Law

Cindy Rosenwald, New Hampshire State Representative, who sponsored a law to protect Prescription Drug Privacy briefed the Privacy Coalition during its November 2008 meeting on her success in getting the law passed. The law is under legal challenge, and represents a good model for protecting prescription medical records from commercial use.

Karen Johnson, State Senator AZ Meets with Privacy Coalition to Discuss Bill to Regulate School Use of Biometics

Arizona State Senator Karen Johnson met with the Privacy Coalition for the May 2008 meeting to discuss her efforts to replicate legislation passed in the state of Illinois that regulates the use of digital fingerprint collect from school age children. The bill should it become law would represent the second successful effort to regulate the collection and use of biometrics in public schools.

Jonathan R. Cantor, Executive Director for Public Disclosure for the SSA Meets with

Jonathan Cantor, CIPP/G Executive Director for Public Disclosure for the Social Security Administration met with the Privacy Coalition at the May 2008 monthly meeting of the group to discuss his agency's work and privacy protection.

William Kovacic FTC Chair Meets with the Privacy Coalition

William Kovacic the new Chair of the Federal Trade Commission met with the Privacy Coalition at is June 2008 monthly meeting. The Federal Trade Commission is charged by law to protect consumers from unfair and deceptive trade practices.

Grisella Martinez with the National Immigration Law Center Briefs Coalition on E-Verify Comment Opportunity

Grisella Martinez with the National Immigration Law Center met with the Privacy Coalition during its July 2008 monthly meeting to provide a briefing on the E-Verify Comment request from the Department of Homeland Security. The meeting also had an update on E-Verify from Tim Sparapani with the ACLU.

Rob Randhava with the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Meets with the Privacy Coalition

Rob Randhava briefed the Privacy Coalition during the July 2008 meeting on the work of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR) on opposing REAL ID. The LCCR worked closely with privacy, civil liberty, consumer rights organizations to oppose the adoption of REAL ID regulations that would create the nation's first national ID.

Byron Charlton Government Relations Representative with the AFL-CIO Meets with the Privacy Coalition

Bryon Charlton with the AFL-CIO's Government Relations office briefed the Privacy Coalition on Card Chek and the Right of a Secret Ballot. Labor union organizing depends on workers having access to the option to form a union. He reported that labor organizers and workers who support unionization have faced dismissal or disciplinary actions by employers opposed to union shops.

David Vladeck Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection Meets with the Privacy Coalition

David Vladeck, Director of the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Consumer Protect met with the Privacy Coalition for it June 2009 meeting. The FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection's mandate is to protect consumers against unfair, deceptive or fraudulent practices. The Bureau enforces a variety of consumer protection laws enacted by Congress, as well as trade regulation rules issued by the FTC. The meeting also included a briefing by Professional Staff with the Homeland Security Committee on the recently introduced PASS ID bill.

Staff for Senator Barack Obama Spoke with the Privacy Coalition on the Protecting Taxpayer Privacy Act

Ian Solomon, Legislative Counsel, and Joshua DuBois, Legislative Correspondent, on March31, 2006, briefed the Privacy Coalition on Senator Barack Obama's bill S. 2484, the "Protecting Taxpayer Privacy Act." The bill, should it become law, would amend the IRS Code of 1986 to prohibit the disclosure of tax return information by tax return preparers to third parties.

Wendy Weiser Deputy Director, of the Brennan Center's Democracy Program Meets with the Privacy Coalition

Wendy Weiser, Deputy Director of the Brennan Center's Democracy Program, for the June 30, 2020 meeting of the Privacy Coalition discussed a Brennan Center proposal for a state-by-state national program for voter registration.

Joan Friedland Immigration Policy Director at the National Immigration Law Center

Joan Friedland National Immigration Policy Director for the National Immigration Law Center briefed the Privacy Coalition in June 2006 on the new I-9 Employment Eligibility Regulations. She described the goal of the project as turning drivers Licenses in passport cards.

Leahy Senate Judiciary Committee Staff Meets with Priacy Coalition about Data Privacy Bill

Senate Judiciary Committee Staff meet with the Privacy Coalition at the June 2006 meeting. They sought input on a data protection bill under consideration. Leahy and Specter have been working on developing a bill to protect digital information. The Privacy Coalition was asked by the committee staff to offer input into the process.

Frank Moss, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Passport Services at the State Department Meets with Privacy Coalition

At the June monthly meeting of the Privacy Coalition, Frank Moss, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Department of State for Passport Services at the Department of State, discussed the agency's plan to include unprotected radio frequency identification (RFID) technology in US passports. Privacy and consumer rights organizations have challenged the agency's plan to use unencrypted chips in all U.S. passports.

Robert Mocny, Director of DHS's US-VISIT Program Meets with the Privacy Coalition

The September 28, 2020 meeting of the Privacy Coalition featured presentations by Robert Mocny, Director of the Department of Homeland Security's US VISIT Program, and David Gersten Director of the Department of Homeland Security's Civil Rights and Civil Libertieis Programs. The meeting also included presentations by Susan Hunkler a privacy rights activist, Jim Harrision Director of the Identity Project, Lew Motby President, Work Rights Institute and a discussion on Fusion Centers.

National Immigration Law Center Briefs Privacy Coalition on New SSN "No Match Letter" Policy

The Privacy Coalition was briefed on the new Department of Homeland Security SSN No Match Letters; FISA Amendments, Medical Privacy, and the new Illinois Public School Biometric Privacy Law.

July 2007 Privacy Coalition Meeting

The regular monthly meeting of the Privacy Coalition featured a tutorial on Fusion Centers by Mike German an attorney with the ACLU. Fusion Centers are the most recent effort by the federal government to establish an operational domestic surveillance program. The CRS report states that officials justifying the development of fusion centers use a number of presumptions, and that the goals of the centers seem to be unfocused with wide-ranging explanations on what they are intended to accomplish. The report outlined threats to civil liberties and privacy posed by the deployment of Fusion Centers, which have no laws governing them.

Bruce Fine Founder of American Freedom Agenda Meets with the Privacy Coalition

Bruce Fein, founder of the American Freedom Agenda was the guess speaker. He spoke of his organizations efforts to enact a cluster of statutes that would restore the Constitution's checks and balances as enshrined by the Founding Fathers; and, making the subject a staple of political campaigns and of foremost concern to Members of Congress and to voters and educators

May Privacy Coalition Meeting

Robert Cresanti , Under Secretary of Technology and Chief Privacy Officer, Department of Commerce meet with the Privacy Coalition in May 2007. Under Secretary Cresanti along with being the Department of Commerce's Chief Privacy Officer also serves as head of the the Department's Technology Administration. The regular monthly meeting presents an opportunity for privacy, consumer, and civil liberty advocates to keep abreat of issues.

March 2007 Privacy Coalition Meeting

The Privacy Coalition guest speaker was Peter Pietra, the Director of Privacy Policy and Compliance for Transporation Security Administration. The coalition also heard from Senate Judiciary Staff on the issue of Deceptive Campaign Practices, they were also brief by Jeff Chester with the Center for Digital Democracy on Policy Safeguards for Interactive Adversting and Marketing, and the use of biometrics in Illinois Schools.

Charles Raul, Vice Chair Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board

Charles Raul, Vice Chair, Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board met with the Privacy Coalition at its July 2006 regular monthly meeting to discuss the work of the Board. He was joined by Mark A. Robbins the Board's Executive Director.

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.

2007 Marks the 13th Annual Privacy Coalition Meeting

On January 25-27, 2007 the Privacy Coalition held its 13th Annual meeting in Washington, DC to review the lead privacy issues from 2006, and plan the privacy agenda for the year. More than 50 organizations participated in the meeting. This unique gathering of policy experts, technologists, consumer advocates, attorneys, and media experts form a think tank environment to deliberate ongoing and emerging threats to privacy posed by new technology and policy developments.

Annual Privacy Coalition Meeting Set for January 26, 2020

The Privacy Coalition will hold its annual meeting on January 26, 2020 in Washington, DC. This annual event attracts decision makers, privacy and civil liberty advocacy groups from North America. The topics range from the privacy implications of emerging technologies, to the challenges of policy making in the dynamic environments created by advanced computing and communication devices.

Doug Curling, President of ChoicePoint in a Candid Discussion About Privacy

Doug Curling the President of ChoicePoint spoke with the Privacy Coalition about the company's position on privacy related matters. It was the last monthly meeting of the Privacy Coalition for 2006. The December meeting closed a year of meetings that featured Charles Raul, Vice President of the Civil Liberties Oversight Protection Board, and Alexander Joel, the Civil Liberties Protection Officer for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

DHS Chief Privacy Officer Meets with Privacy Coalition

Hugo Teufel III, Chief Privacy Officer, with the Department of Homeland Security met with the Privacy Coalition for its montly meeting held in November. He addressed the group regarding the agency's work related to privacy and his interest in working with consumer privacy advocacy organizations. Teufel acknowledged the completion of the department’s Privacy Report, and took a number of questions from meeting participants on a broad range of issues including the Power Act, REAL ID, redress procedures for PNR Complaints and travel, and how the agency treats comments submitted in response to its Federal Register notices.

Toby Levin, DHS Senior Advisory on Privacy Meets with Privacy Coalition

Toby Levin, Senior Advisor, Department of Homeland Security attended the Privacy Coalition meeting to discussion the Chief Privacy Officer's role at the agency. The meeting also featured briefings on Department of Defense surveillance of domestic groups, NSA Surveillance Legislation, and Privacy and Immigration reform. A briefing on Privacy and Immigration Reform was lead by the National Immigration Law Center, Rights Working Group, and National Immigration Forum.

March 31, 2020 Meeting

Dale Underwood, Department of Treasury's Privacy Act Officer

March 31, 2020 Meeting

Dale Underwood, Department of the Treasury's Privacy Act Officer, and a briefing on Taxpayer Privacy Legislation, Update on Federal Remote Tracking Surveillance Policy, Patriot Act Renewal, and a Briefing on the REAL ID Campaign in New Hampshire. Dale Underwood, Department of Treasury's Privacy Act Officer

DHS's Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee Meeting

In a Federal Register Notice published n November 16, 2020 (Volume 70, Number 220), DHS announced a public meeting of its Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee on December 6, 2020. The meeting will be held in the Capitol Ballroom (E & F) at the JW Marriott Hotel, 1331 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC. Those interested in attending must register with the agency by December 1, 2020.

More information on the DHS Privacy Office.

Federal Register notice.

DHS's Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee Meeting

In a Federal Register Notice published n November 16, 2020 (Volume 70, Number 220), DHS announced a public meeting of its Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee on December 6, 2020. The meeting will be held in the Capitol Ballroom (E & F) at the JW Marriott Hotel, 1331 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC. Those interested in attending must register with the agency by December 1, 2020.

More information on the DHS Privacy Office.

Federal Register notice.