09.29.08

Leahy Secures Privacy Protections In E-Government Reauthorization

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has secured key privacy protections in proposed legislation to reauthorize the E-Government Act.  The E-Government Act became law in 2002 to streamline government information and promote inter-agency communication and communication between the government and citizens.

 

The E-Government Reauthorization Act was considered and reported by the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee on September 16.  Leahy subsequently began to work with the bill’s sponsors, Sen. Joe Lieberman (ID-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) to include personal privacy protections in the bill.  Leahy, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, offered an amendment to improve and strengthen the reauthorization legislation by adding important privacy provisions to protect the personal information of Americans from data breaches, identity theft and other cyber crimes.  Leahy’s amendment, which was accepted by the bill’s sponsors and the Bush administration, will require federal agencies to conduct privacy impact assessments before using outside contractors to manage personal information.

 

“This amendment takes a small but important step towards addressing the growing problem of lax data security by government contractors, by making sure that Americans’ privacy rights are not compromised when they entrust their sensitive personal information to our government,” said Leahy.  “The E-Government Reauthorization Act is a good bill that will now be even better because of the privacy protections in this amendment.  I hope all Senators will support this important legislation.”

 

Leahy has been a longtime leader and advocate for privacy protections.  He is the author of the Personal Data Privacy and Security Act, S. 495, comprehensive data privacy legislation, and the Identity Theft Enforcement and Restitution Act, which is a part of legislation that the President signed into law last week to extend Secret Service protection for former Vice Presidents.


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