A Review of the Fair Information Principles: The Foundation of Privacy Public Policy


Nearly 25 years ago in 1973, a task force was formed at the U.S. Dept of Health Education and Welfare (HEW) to look at the impact of computerization on medical records privacy. The members wanted to develop policies that would allow the benefits of computerization to go forward, but at the same time provide safeguards for personal privacy.

Issues of Privacy and Access


Advances in technology give rise to the classic double edged sword. There are obvious benefits, such as locating and garnishing the wages of deadbeat parents. But there is also the downside, the development of a cradle to grave electronic dossier which can pose threats to personal privacy and which can be used for purposes of social control.

My presentation will focus on the privacy implications of advances in technology and the importance of crafting policies to enable the benefits to proceed while minimizing the negative consequences.

FTC Consumer Privacy Workshops: Data Base Study



In September 1996, there was a flurry of controversy surrounding the sale of personal information by the Lexis-Nexis company vis-a-vis its P-TRAK service. Although much of the brouhaha centered on the sale of Social Security numbers, which Lexis-Nexis had curtailed a few months earlier, the public outcry illustrated a growing concern about electronic privacy. The Lexis-Nexis phone lines were jammed with people requesting that their records be deleted from the P-TRAK data base.

What most of these people did not realize is that Lexis-Nexis is not the only seller of personally identifiable information.

"A Review of State and Federal Privacy Laws": Testimony to the California Legislature Joint Task Force on Personal Information and Privacy


I will speak briefly about two related topics: First, I will give an overview of a code of privacy principles called the Fair Information Practices. These, in part or in full, form the basis of many privacy-related laws, as well as industry initiatives.

Second, I will talk about the approach taken at the federal and state levels to privacy laws, with a brief outline of some of those laws.

Social Security Administration Forum


The outcry that greeted the Social Security Administration's launch of the Personal Earnings and Benefits Statement on the Internet was a sign of the times. When many members of the public learned that information as sensitive as their annual wages and the amounts of their contributions to the SSA and Medicare would be available on the Internet, it brought up their concerns about control.

Who asked me?

Who else but me might be able to access that information?

What other uses can be made of that data that might harm me?

What safeguards are in place to ensure that this information does not get into the wrong hands?

What if I don't want my record on the Internet -- can I say 'no'?

Comments In Opposition to the Court Technnology Committee Draft Rule: Access to Electronic Records


The Draft Rule endorsed by the Court Technology Committee would require that all records a court makes available to the public also be made available electronically. This Draft Rule is actually the recommendation of only the minority of members of the Privacy and Access Subcommittee. The majority recommended an Alternate Draft Rule ("Alternate Rule") which would require electronic access only to specified index information in case files, exclusive of all non-public data and references to cases, courts or persons, other than the parties and their attorneys.

Federal Reserve Board "Credit Header" Comments


Recent amendments to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, signed into law on September 30, 1996, directed the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve Board to conduct a study on the availability of sensitive identification information about consumers and the possible use of such information for financial fraud.

The comments provided herein by the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse focus on "credit header" information as well as the widespread availability of Social Security numbers.

Medical Records Privacy: Fears and Expectations of Patients


The title of this talk is "Medical Records Privacy: Fears and Expectations of Patients". So you can get an understanding of my point of view, I want to start out by talking about our project, the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, and then make several points about the topic.

Public Records in a Computerized Network Environment: Privacy Implications


The burgeoning information industry is acquiring data from both public and private sector sources, merging and repackaging them and then selling them on the marketplace. CDB Infotek is one of those companies, headquartered in Santa Ana -- another is Information Resources in Fullerton. Look in the Yellow Pages under 'investigators' and you'll see dozens of small companies that subscribe to the information services provided by these larger information clearinghouses.

 

Privacy Rights of the Homeless


In the United States, the importance of protecting an individual's social services records has not been recognized. Even where laws exist to protect such information, they are often ill-applied or unenforced. Compounding this problem is a substantial lack of awareness among both social services clients and program administrators concerning what types of information may or may not be protected.

For instance, does the right to privacy allow a homeless person to hide the fact that she is homeless from potential landlords or employers? Do low-income social services recipients have the right to inspect the agency's records concerning them and to have errors corrected? What restrictions are placed on the disclosure of public and private social services records?

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