In a press release from Sen. Al Franken’s office, it was announced that the Minnesota Democrat will be the chairman of the newly created subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law. The subcommittee is part of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) said: “As Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, I have made privacy a top priority, and that will continue in the 112th Congress. The important work of the Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law will complement the work that the full Committee will continue this year. I welcome Senator Franken as the chair of this subcommittee, and look forward to continued progress in protecting Americans’ personal privacy.”
Franken said, “As chairman of this new subcommittee, I will try to make sure that we can reap the rewards of new technology while also protecting Americans’ right to privacy.”
The jurisdiction of the Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law will include: oversight of laws and policies governing the collection, protection, use, and dissemination of commercial information by the private sector, including online behavioral advertising; privacy within social networking websites and other online privacy issues; enforcement and implementation of commercial information privacy laws and policies; use of technology by the private sector to protect privacy, enhance transparency and encourage innovation; privacy standards for the collection, retention, use and dissemination of personally identifiable commercial information; and privacy implications of new or emerging technologies.