The Washington Post reports on a letter (pdf) from 41 organizations — including the American Civil Liberties Union, the NAACP and the National Network to End Domestic Violence — to President Obama concerning consumer privacy rights. The letter comes two years after Obama announced a plan to adopt a comprehensive plan to protect consumer privacy rights. The Post reports:
“Never has the need to update the privacy laws of the United States been more urgent,” says a letter planned for delivery Monday morning and signed by three dozen organizations, including Consumers Union, the American Civil Liberties Union and Public Citizen.
The three-page letter will arrive exactly two years after President Obama announced a framework for a privacy bill of rights, promising to seek swift congressional action. The president’s original call to action was made more than a year before former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden revealed massive surveillance by U.S. intelligence agencies. The proposal, however, was largely ignored by Congress.
Meantime, private companies have been compiling ever more detailed dossiers on consumers’ browsing habits and medical and purchasing histories. Recently, the president named his chief of staff, John Podesta, to review the role of “big data” and their relationship to privacy. […]
Privacy protection demands have increased in recent months as data-collection companies face new pressure from European regulators alarmed by disclosure of U.S. government spying. Now that pressure seems to be spreading to Washington.