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Senate Committee Considers Updates to Federal Privacy Act

The Senate Oversight of Government Management Subcommittee held a hearing today on "The State of Federal Privacy and Data Security Law: Lagging Behind the Times?" The hearing focused on S.1732, the Privacy Act Modernization for the Information Age Act of 2011, and S.3414, an amendment to the Cybersecurity Act of 2012, introduced by Senator Daniel Akaka (D-HI). Both measures would strengthen privacy protections for personal information collected by government agencies. Senate witnesses agreed that after the Supreme Court decision in FAA v. Cooper, the Privacy Act should be amended to compensate individuals for provable, nonpecuniary harms. EPIC has made several recommendations to update the federal privacy law and also warned about the deployment of new agency profiling systems. For more information, see EPIC: The Privacy Act of 1974 and EPIC: Automated Targeting System.

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