Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-HI) has introduced a bill to amend the Privacy Act of 1974. The Privacy Act Modernization for the Information Age of 2011 would create a federal chief privacy officer and a government-wide Chief Privacy Officers Council. It would also overturn the Supreme Court’s decision in Doe v. Chao, “which held that an individual has to show actual damages resulted from an intentional or willful improper disclosure of personal information in order to receive an award,” according to Akaka’s remarks in the Congressional Record.

Akaka became a member of the U.S. Senate three years after the enactment of the Privacy Act of 1974. Introducing the modernization bill this week, he said the expansion of technology, increased security needs that put pressure on personal information and the growth of the data “market” prompted him to draft the update. Akaka said he consulted with privacy experts, working groups and advocates to inform the draft, and he examined the recommendations laid out in the 2008 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report “Privacy: Alternatives Exist for Enhancing Protection of Personally Identifiable Information.”

The role of a federal chief privacy officer in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has not existed since the 1990s.

Peter Swire, CIPP, who was chief of privacy in the OMB during the Clinton Administration, told the Daily Dashboard, “The most important information sharing often happens across agencies, and a federal CPO can help ensure that the interagency privacy issues are handled more effectively."

The bill’s proposal to create a government-wide Chief Privacy Officers Council would “fill wide gaps in…privacy leadership and ensure consistent development of policies and guidance on the Privacy Act across agencies,” Akaka said.

In addition, the bill would update penalties for violations of the Privacy Act, and it would “clarify Congress’s intent in the statutory damages provision in the Privacy Act by overturning Doe v. Chao, in which the Supreme Court, I believe wrongly, held that an individual has to show actual damages resulted from an intentional or willful improper disclosure of personal information in order to receive an award,” Akaka said.


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

IAPP Westin Research Center

Original works. Groundbreaking research. Emerging scholars.

Advertise in IAPP Publications

Find out how to get your message in front the people you want to reach. Download a media kit now.

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.

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.

New Web Conferences Added!

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

Train Your Staff

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

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 Close-up

Looking for tools and info on a hot topic? Our close-up pages organize it for you in one easy-to-find place.

Where's Your DPA?

Our interactive DPA locator helps you find data protection authorities and summary of law by country.

IAPP Westin Research Center

See the latest original research from the IAPP Westin fellows.

Looking for Certification Study Resources?

Find out what you need to prepare for your exams

More Resources »

GDPR Comprehensive: Registration Open

New! Intensive two-day GDPR training led by the sharpest minds in the field. It's a can't-miss event.

The Congress Is Cancelled

The IAPP Europe Data Protection Congress 2015 is cancelled. Click through to learn more.

Sponsor an Event

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

Exhibit at an Event

Put your brand in front of the largest gatherings of privacy pros in the world. Learn more.

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»