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    Federal Times: Senators call on regulatory nominee to focus on privacy issues

    The Federal Times reports on a Senate committee confirmation hearing for an Obama nominee:

    The government’s next regulatory chief should anticipate a heavy workload after years of de-emphasis on regulation and protections during the Bush administration, Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., warned President Barack Obama’s nominee for the job.

    “We are … emerging from a period when protection of public health, safety and the environment was relegated to a back burner, and a backlog of unissued protections must be addressed,” Lieberman said Tuesday at a hearing on the nomination of Cass Sunstein to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) at the Office of Management and Budget.

    Sunstein, a Harvard University law professor, said he will strive for scientifically sound analysis of regulations and will investigate alternatives to and consequences of proposed regulations.
    Lieberman, chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said attention to privacy regulations should be a priority for Sunstein. […]

    Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, asked if the 1974 Privacy Act provides adequate privacy protections.

    “It’s not clear whether the technological age unsettles some of the protections,” Sunstein said. “On that one, it’s clear a very careful look at the regulations makes sense.”

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