January 29, 2007

Hmmm — A Privacy Candidate? [3:33 pm]

And I thought health care was a tough row to hoe: Hillary: The Privacy Candidate? [via Slashdot]

Clinton, the presidential front-runner among Democrats in way-early polling, addressed electronic privacy issues at a constitutional law conference in Washington, D.C. last June. There she unveiled a proposed “Privacy Bill of Rights” that would, among other things, give Americans the right to know what’s being done with their personal information, and offer consumers an unprecedented level of control over how that data is used.

“At all levels, the privacy protections for ordinary citizens are broken, inadequate and out of date,” Clinton said.

[...] “The reality (of her proposals) is that they would almost turn the information economy inside out — it’s like saying, ‘OK, now the water in the stream is going to flow in the other direction,’” said Jim Harper, director of information policy studies at the libertarian think tank The Cato Institute. “It’s easy to imagine, but changing the way information moves in the economy is very, very hard to do.”

“I think that over time that these ideas will reemerge (and gain momentum),” said Marc Rotenberg, the Electronic Privacy Information Center’s executive director, who adds that the second half of this congressional session will provide the senator with many opportunities to support privacy-related legislation.

Note that, for any number of reasons, Russ Feingold is a far more credible “privacy” candidate.

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