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Time for Congress to Wake Up

Kacie Wielgus,
Washington Legislative Office
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June 18, 2008

Is Congress winking and nodding at identity thieves? It appears that way, since they have not updated the Privacy Act since 1974. A lot has changed since 1974 and the popularity of e-government has exploded. Many millions of people now pay their taxes and file forms electronically, a number which grows by the day. The ACLU believes the government has no business collecting our personal information if it cannot ensure us it will be protected from identify thieves and other prying eyes. Senators Lieberman and Collins held a hearing to address these concerns today. Let’s hope the rest of Congress wakes up and realizes that our personal information requires far greater security than it did in 1974, the year the pocket calculator was invented. They can begin by updating the Privacy Act of 1974 to require that data obtained by government agencies from commercial data brokers like Accurint, Axciom, and ChoicePoint be subject to the act.

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