Welcome to the Privacy and IP Law blog. As an initial matter, below are several resources on the Internet where you can find detailed information about privacy law. It’s by no means exhaustive, but it should give you a start to understanding some of the recent debate on privacy issues in the U.S.:
- ACLU’s Current Privacy Initiatives
- BBBOnLine, Inc. – provides tools to consumers and businesses alike in operating safely in the online environment.
- Center for Democracy and Technology – Policy Posts re Privacy and Security Principles for Health Information Technology
- Electronic Frontier Foundation – Provides current updates on various privacy initiatives.
- Electronic Privacy Information Center, and specifically its report on Privacy of Social Security Numbers
- FTC Identity Theft Page
- Government Accountability Office – subscribe to e-mail updates at: http://www.gao.gov/subscribe/index.php. Some of the more relevant (and recent) reports are the following:
- * HEALTH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY: HHS Has Taken Important Steps to Address Privacy Principles and Challenges, Although More Work Remains (GAO Report, Sept. 2008)
- * PRIVACY: Congress Should Consider Alternatives for Strengthening Protection of Personally Identifiable Information (Testimony before Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, June 18, 2008)
- * PRIVACY: Alternatives Exist for Enhancing Protection of Personally Identifiable Information (GAO Report, May 19, 2008)
- * INFORMATION SECURITY: Protecting Personally Identifiable Information (GAO Report, Jan. 25, 2008)
- * SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS: Use is Widespread and Protection Could Be Improved (Testimony before House Committee on Ways and Means, Subcommittee on Social Security, June 21, 2007)
- * PRIVACY: Lessons Learned About Data Breach Notification (GAO Report, April 2007)* PRIVACY: Domestic and Offshore Outsourcing of Personal Information in Medicare, Medicaid, and TRICARE (GAO Report, Sept. 2006)
- * PERSONAL INFORMATION: Key Federal Privacy Laws Do Not Require Information Resellers to Safeguard All Sensitive Data (GAO Report to Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, June 2006)
- * PRIVACY: Preventing and Responding to Improper Disclosures of Personal Information (Testimony before House Committee on Government Reform, June 8, 2006)
- * SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS: Internet Resellers Provide Few Full SSNs, but Congress Should Consider Enacting Standards for Truncating SSNs (GAO Report, May 2006)
- * SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS: More Could be Done to Protect SSNs (Testimony before House Committee on Ways and Means, Subcommittee on Social Security, May 30, 2006)
- * SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS: Federal and State Laws Restrict Use of SSNs, Yet Gaps Remain (Testimony before New York State Assembly, Committee on Consumer Affairs and Protection and Committee on Governmental Operations, Sept. 15, 2005)
- Junkbusters – links to numerous privacy resources.
- National Conference of State Legislatures – provides chart of current proposals for protection of Health Information, as well as specific resources to address Privacy Concerns. Specifically:
* E-Commerce Page – pending legislation on Digital Signatures and Uniform Electronic Transactions Act information can be found here.
* Electronic/Internet Privacy
* Enacted Social Security Number Legislation (2007 session, but updated in 4/08). See also Enacted Legislation in 2008.
* Health Information Technology Champions – provides a Health Information Technology Tracking Database (no separate link available), which permits you to search for legislation by state, or other filters.
* Identity Theft Legislation Page – Statutes are summarized separately: http://www.ncsl.org/programs/lis/privacy/idt-statutes.htm.
* Phishing / E-mail Fraud Legislation (as of January 2, 2009) – the list of laws enacted in 2007 addressing phishing are identified separately: http://www.ncsl.org/programs/lis/phishing07.htm.
* State Security Breach Disclosure Laws – a December 2008 article in State Legislatures separately addresses how effective certain of these laws have been to address identity theft concerns.
- OnGuard Online – Numerous sources provided by various government agencies relating to Internet fraud schemes and identity theft. Sponsored by the FTC, Department of Commerce, the Department of Homeland Security, the IRS, NCIS, Office of Justice Programs, SEC, and the US Postal Inspection Service.
- Privacy Rights Clearinghouse – fact sheets on numerous issues, including “Employment Background Checks: A Jobseeker’s Guide.”
- World Privacy Forum – co-hosted the first International Privacy and Security Conference in Tokyo, Japan, beginning on November 11, 2008. They also published a recent article outlining a Patient’s Guide to HIPAA, which explains key provisions of an otherwise complicated statute.
Some of these links also appeared in the inaugural issue of “International Data Protection and Online Security,” a joint newsletter of the ABA’s Section on International Law and the Online Security and E-Privacy Committee of the ABA’s Intellectual Property Law Section, of which I am a member of the editorial board.