ad info

 
CNN.com  technology > computing
    Editions | myCNN | Video | Audio | Headline News Brief | Feedback  

 

  Search
 
 

 
TECHNOLOGY
TOP STORIES

Consumer group: Online privacy protections fall short

Guide to a wired Super Bowl

Debate opens on making e-commerce law consistent

(MORE)

TOP STORIES

More than 11,000 killed in India quake

Mideast negotiators want to continue talks after Israeli elections

(MORE)

MARKETS
4:30pm ET, 4/16
144.70
8257.60
3.71
1394.72
10.90
879.91
 


WORLD

U.S.

POLITICS

LAW

ENTERTAINMENT

HEALTH

TRAVEL

FOOD

ARTS & STYLE



(MORE HEADLINES)
*
 
CNN Websites
Networks image


Privacy fears prompt study, delay

Federal Computer Week

May 22, 2000
Web posted at: 11:19 a.m. EDT (1519 GMT)

(IDG) -- Few things can match the Internet for fast growth, but the growing alarm about privacy is surely one of them.

Polls show that 83 percent of Americans fear they have lost control over how companies use their private information. And in response, state legislatures across the nation are considering 2,000 to 3,000 privacy bills.

Now Congress is offering to help. The House of Representatives is considering legislation to create a privacy commission to study the issue for 18 months.

  MESSAGE BOARD
 

But 18 months of study will only delay action on privacy and security, said John Spotila, the Clinton administration's information technology policy-maker in chief, speaking to a House subcommittee Monday.

"In some areas, we already know that we must act swiftly to protect privacy and security," he said. "Indeed, the administration's biggest concern is the risk that some might use the commission as a reason to delay much-needed privacy legislation."

MORE COMPUTING INTELLIGENCE
IDG.net   IDG.net home page
  Federal Computer Week home page
  IDG.net's personal news page
  FTC publishes Internet privacy rule
  Cookie data others can reach
  Reviews & in-depth info at IDG.net
  E-BusinessWorld
  TechInformer
  Questions about computers? Let IDG.net's editors help you
  Subscribe to IDG.net's free daily newsletters
  Search IDG.net in 12 languages
  News Radio
  * Fusion audio primers
  * Computerworld Minute

Meaningful legislation is needed to protect the privacy of personal financial information and medical records and to prevent genetic discrimination, Spotila told the House Government Management, Information and Technology Subcommittee. "We cannot take a year and a half off in protecting Americans' privacy," he said.

The federal government has been studying privacy at least since 1993, Spotila noted. But when Congress has acted on privacy, it has done too little, he said. Legislation passed last year to protect financial privacy left many loopholes.

Mike Hatch, the attorney general of Minnesota, was more blunt, saying Congress' record on privacy protection is not good. For example, when Congress passed the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which was touted as protecting financial privacy, it actually gave banks more authority to trade in consumers' financial information than ever before, he said.

Congress failed to meet an August 1999 deadline for passing medical records privacy legislation, leaving it to the Department of Health and Human Services to propose regulations. The HHS regulations generated 53,000 comments that the agency must review before announcing final rules, Spotila said.

On the matter of genetic discrimination, President Clinton has banned federal agencies from considering genetic information in hiring or promotions, Spotila said, but legislation that would apply such rules to the private sector remains hung up in Congress.

There is a "need for further action, not further study," he said.




RELATED STORIES:
Net privacy law costs a bundle
May 16, 2000
Rewriting the fourth amendment
May 12, 2000
Online child privacy act proves problematic for sites
April 25, 2000
More cops on the Net beat? Privacy groups say not so fast
April 10, 2000
Take Net privacy into your own hands
April 9, 1999
Internet crime report irks privacy groups
March 13, 2000
KidSafe is no choice at all
February 2, 2000

RELATED IDG.net STORIES:
Privacy protections delayed
(Computerworld)
W3C updates online-privacy proposal
(Computerworld)
On privacy, eBay prefers Feds over states
(The Industry Standard)
Cookie data others can reach
(Computerworld)
FTC publishes Internet privacy rule
(The Industry Standard)
Internet privacy law costs a bundle
(Network World Fusion)
'John Doe' sues Yahoo over privacy
(The Industry Standard)
Rewriting the Fourth Amendment
(The Industry Standard)

RELATED SITES:
Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act

Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.

 Search   

Back to the top   © 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.