The Privacy Act of 1974 is an orphan. At a time when privacy is a hot legislative topic just about everywhere, almost no one has examined the Privacy Act, one of the oldest information privacy laws in the world. The act reflects the technologies of the 1970s, like ancient mainframe computers (that had less computer power than your smartphone) and filing cabinets filled with paper records—it’s that old.
Robert Gellman is a Privacy and Information Policy Consultant in Washington DC. He previously served for 17 years as a staff member of a House of Representatives subcommittee. His involvement in privacy dates back to the early days of the Privacy Act of 1974.
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