TechNewsDaily says that, as part of the fallout from the NSA leak, there has been a “surge in proposed privacy legislation concerning devices and their growing monitoring capabilities.” In addition to the Texas e-mail law and action in Maine to restrict drone use; federal lawmakers are working toward vehicle and TV consumer privacy bills, and others are working to restrict government collection of data. Whether due to the NSA revelations or not, anti-surveillance does seem to be the latest trend in privacy law.

In the Car
Going on two years now, Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA) has been trying to pass the Black Box Privacy Protection Act (H.R. 2414) as a response to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proposal requiring event data recorders (EDRs) in all new cars by September 1, 2014.

Capuano’s bill would give drivers control over EDRs and ownership of the data they contain. The bill now has the co-sponsorship of Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and nine others from both sides of the aisle, and it’s on its way to the House Judiciary Committee and Energy and Commerce Committee.

On the Couch
Capuano, along with Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC), is also sponsoring a bill to stop DVRs and set-top boxes from observing consumers while they watch TV. It comes after reports that telecoms are exploring technology that can do just that. While the monitoring isn’t happening yet, the lawmakers say they want to get out ahead of the technology and put consumer protections in place now—particularly in light of the NSA surveillance revelations.

The We Are Watching You Act would require consumer consent prior to installing a behavior-tracking DVR or cable box in a home and would require the device to notify consumers when the tracking technology has been activated by posting “We are watching you” on the TV screen. That should be clear enough.

In Government
Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Mark Udall (D-CO) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) have introduced bills to restrict the ways government intelligence agencies can collect and use citizens’ data, reports PR Watch.

Sanders’ Restore Our Privacy Act would amend the USA PATRIOT Act to “limit overbroad surveillance requests and expand reporting requirements and for other purposes.”  It would amend the “business records” section, requiring the government to show “specific and articulable facts” to justify suspicion before obtaining court approval to monitor any such records related to a terrorism suspect. The bill would also change the idea that a person “known to” a suspect is relevant to investigations. The bill has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Udall and Wyden have proposed the Nexus to Terrorism Act that would limit the federal government’s authority to collect citizens’ data without making a direct link to terrorism. The bill has garnered support from Democrats and Republicans alike and has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Written By

Emily Leach, CIPP/US


If you want to comment on this post, you need to login.


Board of Directors

See the esteemed group of leaders shaping the future of the IAPP.

Contact Us

Need someone to talk to? We’re here for you.

IAPP Staff

Looking for someone specific? Visit the staff directory.

Learn more about the IAPP»

Daily Dashboard

The day’s top stories from around the world

Privacy Perspectives

Where the real conversations in privacy happen

The Privacy Advisor

Original reporting and feature articles on the latest privacy developments

Privacy Tracker

Alerts and legal analysis of legislative trends

Privacy Tech

Exploring the technology of privacy

Canada Dashboard Digest

A roundup of the top Canadian privacy news

Europe Data Protection Digest

A roundup of the top European data protection news

Asia-Pacific Dashboard Digest

A roundup of the top privacy news from the Asia-Pacific region

Latin America Dashboard Digest

A roundup of the top privacy news from Latin America

IAPP Westin Research Center

Original works. Groundbreaking research. Emerging scholars.

Get more News »

Find a KnowledgeNet Chapter Near You

Network and talk privacy at IAPP KnowledgeNet meetings, taking place worldwide.

Women Leading Privacy

Events, volunteer opportunities and more designed to help you give and get career support and expand your network.

IAPP Job Board

Looking for a new challenge, or need to hire your next privacy pro? The IAPP Job Board is the answer.

Join the Privacy List

Have ideas? Need advice? Subscribe to the Privacy List. It’s crowdsourcing, with an exceptional crowd.

Find more ways to Connect »

Find a Privacy Training Class

Two-day privacy training classes are held around the world. See the complete schedule now.

NEW! Raise Staff Awareness

Equip all your data-handling staff to reduce privacy risk, with Privacy Core™ e-learning essentials.

Online Privacy Training

Build your knowledge. The privacy know-how you need is just a click away.

The Training Post—Can’t-Miss Training Updates

Subscribe now to get the latest alerts on training opportunities around the world.

Upcoming Web Conferences

See our list of upcoming web conferences. Just log on, listen in and learn!

Train Your Team

Get your team up to speed on privacy by bringing IAPP training to your organization.

Learn more »

CIPP Certification

The global standard for the go-to person for privacy laws, regulations and frameworks

CIPM Certification

The first and only privacy certification for professionals who manage day-to-day operations

CIPT Certification

The industry benchmark for IT professionals worldwide to validate their knowledge of privacy requirements

NEW! FIP Designation

Recognizing the advanced knowledge and issue-spotting skills a privacy pro must attain in today’s complex world of data privacy.

Certify Your Staff

Find out how you can bring the world’s only globally recognized privacy certification to a group in your organization.

Learn more about IAPP certification »

Get Schooled in Privacy

Looking to get some higher-ed in privacy? Check out these schools that include data privacy courses in their curricula.

Privacy Vendor List

Find a privacy vendor to meet your needs with our filterable list of global service providers.

NEW! Raise Staff Awareness

Equip all your data-handling staff to reduce privacy risk, with Privacy Core™ e-learning essentials.

The Industry of Privacy

Take stock, compare your practices to those of other organizations, and get budget with these studies on the industry of privacy.

More Resources »

P.S.R.—One Powerhouse Program

The program is too good to miss. The speakers are world-renowned. P.S.R. brings you the best of the best in privacy and security. Don't wait: Register now!

Speak at the Intensive!

The call for proposals for our London event, the Data Protection Intensive, is now open! Submit your session idea today.

Time to Get to Work at the Congress

Thought leadership, a thriving community and unrivaled education...the Congress prepares you for the challenges ahead. Register today.

GDPR Comprehensive London: Last Chance!

The IAPP GDPR Comprehensive heads to London this fall. This is your last chance at this popular program this year!

Sponsor an Event

Increase visibility for your organization—check out sponsorship opportunities today.

More Conferences »

Become a Member

Start taking advantage of the many IAPP member benefits today

Corporate Members

See our list of high-profile corporate members—and find out why you should become one, too

Renew Your Membership

Don’t miss out for a minute—continue accessing your benefits

Join the IAPP»