GAO Calls for Updated Consumer Privacy Framework

The current consumer privacy framework should be updated in light of new technologies and increased data use and exchange in the private sector, according to a report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

Following an analysis of current laws and legal studies and interviews with representatives from federal agencies, the GAO concluded gaps in consumer data privacy laws exist. Many of these gaps are due to the advent of new technologies, including mobile technology and social networking, and increased market-based incentives to collect, use and sell consumer information. Additionally, while current privacy laws, like HIPAA, are focused on protecting information in certain industries or situations, these laws often provide consumers with inadequate control over how information is collected, used, shared or sold.

The GAO recommends Congress consider strengthening consumer privacy laws to reflect technology and marketplace changes. Key issues that should be analyzed include:

  • The ability of consumers to monitor and control their personal information
  • Whether there should be additional regulations about the type of personal information that can be collected or shared
  • Any needed changes to the allowed sources and methods of data collection
  • Privacy controls surrounding new technology like Internet tracking and mobile devices.

More Articles on Data Privacy:

2 Recent Data Breaches: Eastside Medical Center Loses Paper Records, Redwood Memorial Loses Thumb Drive With Patient Data
3 Surveys Suggest Healthcare Providers Increasingly Embracing Cloud Technology
The New HIPAA Rule: The Ticking Time-Bomb of Unsecured Text Messaging

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