Updating the Privacy Act

Please use this page to leave comments, ideas, thoughts, and notes from this session! Much of what we will be talking about is at


The Privacy Act of 1974 was the first statute to embed fair information practice principles into law, 35 years ago. While the Act has remained a mostly effective effort to insure that the government is treating the privacy of individuals as a leading concern, it is no longer as effective as it once was. As technology has changed and databases have progressed, the limitations of the Act and barriers to oversight have become more significant. The E-Government Act and Chief Privacy Officers were created to address certain failures, but others remain and experience with these two efforts have shown areas where they too can be improved.

While these issues have been raised regularly over the past decade, a May 2009 report from the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Information Security and Privacy Advisory Board entitled Toward A 21st Century Framework for Federal Government Privacy Policy and a June 2008 GAO report issued last year entitled Privacy: Congress Should Consider Alternatives for Strengthening Protection of Personally Identifiable Information both raised new areas where privacy protections are inadequate today and have made recommendations to address these inadequacies. Additional resources can be found in our Privacy Act library.


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About Privacy Camp

PrivacyCamp is an multi-city unconference about privacy focusing on government policy and social networking.


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