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The report, “Commercial Data Privacy and Innovation in the Internet Economy: A Dynamic Policy Framework,” also calls for a necessary overhaul of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), originally passed in 1986. The American Civil Liberties Union, along with a coalition of other privacy and civil liberties groups, has been urging Congress to make much-needed changes to ECPA. Today’s report also highlights the need for global standardization of privacy protections. The United States is one of the few industrialized nations without a comprehensive data privacy law.
“We commend the Commerce Department for identifying the need for comprehensive protections of Americans’ privacy. For too long, Americans have been ill-served by a patchwork of privacy laws that contain broad gaps and loopholes,” said Christopher Calabrese, ACLU Legislative Counsel. “Not only do those gaps increase the risk of identity theft, they also allow for the compilation of profiles on every citizen that can be shared with employers and the government.”