Breaches of Passport Files Reaffirm Need for Individual Privacy Protections

July 10, 2008 12:00 am

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Government’s neglect of privacy is nothing new and Americans need strong protections against abuse

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WASHINGTON – Today, as the Senate Judiciary Committee holds a hearing to discuss a State Department report on the breaches of passport files by government officials and staff, highlighting the need for privacy protections for all Americans, the American Civil Liberties Union reaffirms its belief that there must be limits on the government’s collection of and access to sensitive personal information.

The following can be attributed to Timothy Sparapani, ACLU Senior Legislative Counsel:

“The need for today’s hearing is further proof that the privacy of all Americans is under constant assault. The recent examples of presidential candidates’ passport files being breached shows how little regard some government officials and employees have for individual privacy. This should serve as a stark reminder why we constantly need to limit the government’s collection of data and those who can access it. No sensitive data is safe from snooping and abuse.

“The Fourth Amendment applies equally to all Americans and cannot be violated at the whim of government employees who may get curious about the extent of access they have been granted. Individual privacy is one of the distinguishing traits that makes America great, and we cannot allow such a vital right to be denigrated.”

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