The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) issued its second annual privacy report card with lower grades of “C for consumer data protection efforts and a D on civil liberties.” Mark Rotenberg, executive director of EPIC said "Our bottom-line assessment is that with respect to privacy, things are getting worse.” The EPIC is pleased that President Obama’s first Cyber Czar Howard Schmidt (who was appointed in December 2009) is working with privacy groups. EPIC’s report is critical of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) which is now reevaluating US privacy laws in the wake of Google’s Buzz disaster and alleged privacy violations by Facebook. Clearly everyone needs to keep an eye on how the Obama administration manages privacy, and now that the Democrats do not control both houses of Congress it will be interesting to see how law makers deal with privacy.
New Congress and Privacy
As matter of fact after the November 2, 2010 election the Washington Post reported that “Rep. Joe L. Barton (Tex.), ranking GOP member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, signaled the legislative push in a statement about his correspondence with Facebook executives on privacy issues...I want the Internet economy to prosper, but it can’t unless the people’s right to privacy means more than a right to hear excuses after the damage is done.” Reports of data breaches continue and merely needs to check out the FBI’s websites of Cyber Crime Stories which clearly impact us all.