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More safeguards for Americans' data and additional protections for emails are some of the recommendations being made by the White House as it asks Congress to pass new privacy laws. Six recommendations in total are being offered by President Barack Obama’s counselor John Podesta, who posted the proposals on the White House website.
Following a 90-day review, at Obama’s request, the president’s top economic and science advisers looked at how both the government and private sector use large sets of data. The result is a report that suggests additional privacy laws, increased efforts to protect student and consumer data, make certain that such data cannot be used in discriminatory practices, and even provide non-U.S. citizens increased privacy protections.
One such recommendation revolves around the topic of physical mail and email. When it comes to physical mail, a warrant based on probable cause needs to be issued by a judge if law enforcement wishes to gain access. But when it comes to email, access can be gained with a warrant without a judge’s signature most of the time. To fix this, the White House recommends that the Electronic Communications Privacy Act be amended so that additional protection would be in place during a law enforcement investigation.
The White House is also asking for the passing of national data-breach legislation that would collect the assortment of state laws into one federal requirement that would address how data breaches should be reported to consumers and law enforcement. The proposal comes in the aftermath of hackers who stole personal data from millions of customers who shopped at Target.
How likely do you think it is that Congress will act on any of these recommendations?