WASHINGTON ? Senate Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Fred Thompson (R-TN) today applauded the House Government Reform Committee?s bipartisan approval of legislation to create a commission to study privacy concerns in a comprehensive fashion. The bill, HR 4049, would require the commission to study and make recommendations to Congress and the President on the protection of individual privacy and the appropriate balance to be achieved between protecting such privacy and allowing appropriate uses of information.
“I commend Congressmen Asa Hutchinson (R-AR) and Jim Moran (D-VA) for their leadership in sponsoring this important piece of legislation,” Senator Thompson said. “In the Information Age, privacy is an increasingly complex problem. The Privacy Commission would look at the whole puzzle instead of narrowly focusing on one piece at a time. The American people are very concerned about the loss of their personal privacy, and we need to take a coordinated and thoughtful approach to this problem.
“As Chairman of the Governmental Affairs Committee, I look forward to receiving this bill for our consideration,” Senator Thompson continued. “I count on working with Congressmen Hutchinson and Moran to make the Privacy Commission a reality.”
According to a recent NBC News Poll, loss of privacy is one of the greatest concerns Americans have in this new century. There have been enormous leaps in technology since the last privacy commission in the late 1970’s. New technology brings tremendous communications advances, but also the potential for vastly greater threats to individual privacy. The new Privacy Commission would be charged with conducting a comprehensive study of privacy issues. The commission will hold field hearings around the country, identify potential threats to privacy, examine existing efforts and current laws for privacy protection, and report on its findings and recommendations within 18 months of its creation.
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