Data Protection Law
Data Protection Law deals with the security of the electronic transmission of personal data. As of yet, the United States does not have any centralized, formal legislation at the federal level regarding this issue, but does insure the privacy and protection of data through the United States Privacy Act, the Safe Harbor Act and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
U.S. Sectoral Approach
The United States follows what is referred to as a 'sectoral' approach to data protection legislation. Under this approach, the laws of data protection and privacy rely on a combination of legislation, regulation, and self-regulation rather than governmental interference alone. Since the Clinton administration, the U.S. has followed a policy geared toward allowing the private sector to lead the way in data protection. This means that companies should implement their own policies, develop their own technology, and individuals should self-regulate to prevent the dissemination of their private data. Pursuant to this policy, the US has not yet developed a single, federal data protection law.
European Data Protection Laws
The European Union, on the other hand, has a unified data protection law called the Data Protection Directive. The EU's Data Protection Directive regulates the processing of personal data within the European Union and is an important component of the EU's privacy and human rights law. However, recognizing the need to modify this law to deal with globalization and technological developments, the European Union prepared a draft European General Data Protection Regulation that will supersede the Data Protection Directive, which is targeted for adoption in 2014 and to become effective in 2016. The existing Data Protection Directive, in simplest terms, asserts that personal data should not be processed at all, but if it is, it must fall within certain categories of transparency, legitimate purpose, and proportionality. The proposed law would expand the data protection regime currently in place to cover all international companies doing business in the EU.
U.S. Ad Hoc Privacy Laws
Under the U.S. Sectoral approach, however, privacy legislation tends to be sparse and only adopted on an ad hoc basis, with legislation arising when circumstances require. These laws usually only apply to situations in which individuals would not be able to control the use of their data through self-regulations. Examples include the Video Privacy Protection Act of 1988, the Cable Television Protection and Competition Act of 1992, and the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
American Privacy Law Traditions
The reasoning behind the U.S. approach to privacy laws has as much to do with American laissez-faire economics as with its legal tradition. For example, while the U.S. has prized its right to free speech so dearly that the very first amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects it explicitly, the Constitution does not have an explicit right to privacy. The U.S. Supreme Court has found a right to privacy implied by the terms of other portions of the Constitution, and many states have explicit privacy rights in their state constitutions, but on a federal level there is no express constitutional guarantee to privacy. As a result, there is similarly no constitutional framework upon which to build a single data privacy act, making the ad hoc approach much more compatible with the American system of government
For more information on data protection laws, please refer to the materials found below on this page. Moreover, should you need the assistance of an attorney to protect your rights as related to a data protection issue, whether as a person or entity that acquires and uses this data or as one who is afraid of the misuse of your personal information, you can find a list of attorneys in your area by visiting our Law Firms page.
Articles on HG.org Related to Data Protection Law
- What Can I do about a Charity Using My Child's Image and Not Distributing Funds Appropriately?Organizations often use the likeness of someone specific to attract the attention of the media or public in some manner which usually provides funding. When the child or family do not receive the necessary payment from these actions, the parents may have legal action they are able to pursue against the entity.
- Immigration Consequences of Committing Voter FraudWhen individuals that possess no citizenship in the country partake in voting events, this could skew the results for officials attempting to take office. While the registration system for voting does possess vulnerabilities to these actions, there are strict consequences of immigrants that alter the outcome of elections.
- Private Investigator Used Fraud to Access My Personal Info – Can I Sue?When a private investigator is necessary for a case or claim, he or she is not given the permission to break the law even if he or she needs the information for the issue at hand. If there is proof that the professional did break the law in some manner, the target of the investigation may have legal recourse against him or her.
- Privacy and Digital Assests as Property after Family Member's DeathDetails and the news of a family member’s death are usually part of the pronouncements to the public to include the obituary, memorial service and burial. However, other information that should remain private may face scrutiny and go through numerous regulations on what is private and what is no longer kept concealed after the death.
- Policies Governing Employees' Use of Computer EquipmentHave you ever walked up on an employee using Facebook on the clock or standing at the copier with a stack of personal documents?
- Explanation of Identity Theft Laws in TexasIdentity theft occurs in Texas when an individual uses another person’s personal information to acquire goods, services or other things of value. Identity theft can result in significant consequences to the victim and years of affected credit. The instances of identity theft have increased throughout Texas and the nation over the last several years.
- Cybersecurity Federal Acquisition Regulation Clauses in Government ContractsWhen contracting with the federal government in a business deal, the Federal Acquisition Regulation has strict standards in cybersecurity and measures to protect data. It is essential to adhere to these rules to retain and acquire the contract for business deals and to ensure revenue is prospering for both the company and the agency.
- Can I Deduct Ransomware Payments on My Taxes?Many individuals suffer from online attacks where a scam artist or illegal entity takes over the computer demanding money to release the software back to the owner. This is a ransomware attack, and most computer illiterate or competent owners of a computer provide payment to these violators believing it will not happen again.
- Cybersecurity Compliance Deadline for Government ContractorsComplying with cybersecurity when part of a government contract could lead to further difficulties if the company has not done so by the deadline explained in the contract for business. Security through computers, networks and electronics is important and may ensure the safety of information remains within the company and with the government agency attached to the contract.
- Student's 4th Amendment Rights: Teacher Patted Down My Child for Missing Cell PhoneThe right to protections from unlawful search and seizure applies to police attempting to search a person and his or her belongings. However, this does not always extend to children in a school who are suspected of theft or other crimes, and privacy rights for these young persons could have limitations that lead parents to confusion or emotional upset.
- All Science and Technology Law Articles
Articles written by attorneys and experts worldwide discussing legal aspects related to Science and Technology including: biotechnology, chemical law, computer and software, data protection, information technology, internet law, research and development, telecommunications law.
Data Protection Law - US
- Data Protection Directive - Wikipedia
The Data Protection Directive (officially Directive 95/46/EC on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data) is a European Union directive which regulates the processing of personal data within the European Union. It is an important component of EU privacy and human rights law.
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
The Administrative Simplification provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA, Title II) required the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to establish national standards for electronic health care transactions and national identifiers for providers, health plans, and employers. As the industry has implemented these standards, and increased the use of electronic data interchange, the nation's health care system will become increasingly effective and efficient.
- OECD - Working Party on Information Security and Privacy (WPISP)
The OECD is a unique forum where the governments of 30 member countries work together with business and civil society to address the economic, social, environmental and governance challenges of the globalising world economy, as well as exploit its opportunities.
- United States Privacy Act
The Privacy Act Issuances, 2005 Compilation Online Database contains descriptions of Federal agency systems of records maintained on individuals and rules agencies follow to assist individuals who request information about their records.
- US, EU and Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks
The U.S. Department of Commerce in consultation with the Federal Data Protection and Information Commission of Switzerland developed a "Safe Harbor" framework to bridge the different privacy approaches between the two countries and provide a streamlined means for U.S. organizations to comply with the Swiss data protection law. This website also provides the information an organization should need to evaluate – and then join – the U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Framework.
Data Protection Law - International
- Data Protection Laws Around the Globe
Information Privacy is an International concern. Today, most countries have laws protecting personal data from misuse and destruction. Regulation and enforcement of data protection varies from country to country.
- Data Protection Legislation
In 2012, the Commission proposed a major reform of the EU legal framework on the protection of personal data. The new proposals will strengthen individual rights and tackle the challenges of globalisation and new technologies.
Organizations Related to Data Protection Law
- Center for Democracy and Technology - Data Security/Breach
New technology has created powerful new ways to gather, store, sort, analyze, locate, correlate, and disseminate data. This has enabled increasingly intensive use of personal data, which can deliver significant benefits. But the growing use of personal data raises a host of privacy challenges as well.
- Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC)
EPIC is a public interest research center in Washington, D.C. It was established in 1994 to focus public attention on emerging civil liberties issues and to protect privacy, the First Amendment, and constitutional values.
- Privacy International
Privacy International (PI) is a human rights group formed in 1990 as a watchdog on surveillance and privacy invasions by governments and corporations. PI is based in London, England, and has an office in Washington, D.C. We have campaigned across the world to protect people against intrusion by governments and corporations that seek to erode this fragile right. We believe that privacy forms part of the bedrock of freedoms, and our goal has always been to use every means to preserve it.
- Privireal - United States Data Protection
The USA has no comprehensive data protection legislation. Although a signatory to the 1981 OECD Guidelines, the USA has not implemented them domestically. Instead, a sectoral approach, with a mix of legislation, regulation and self-regulation, is utilised. The introduction of Directive 95/46/EC could have therefore restricted the ability of US organisations to engage in transactions with their European counterparts, for it prohibited the transfer of personal data to non EU states that do not meet the "adequacy" standard for the protection of privacy.
Publications Related to Data Protection Law
- CIPP Guide for Privacy Professional
The CIPP Guide provides reliable and accurate information to the privacy professional arena. We hope individuals seeking the Certified Information Privacy Professional designation will find further substance specifically targeted at their CIPP pursuit.
- EPIC Alert
The EPIC Alert, a bi-weekly publication of the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington DC, covers issues related to privacy and civil liberties in the information age. Each issue contains: * detailed articles on privacy developments in the US and around the world * briefing reports on breaking privacy news * book reviews of the latest privacy-related publications * listing of upcoming privacy conferences and events.
- Guidelines for the Security of Information Systems and Networks
These guidelines apply to all participants in the new information society and suggest the need for a greater awareness and understanding of security issues, including the need to develop a "culture of security" - that is, a focus on security in the development of information systems and networks, and the adoption of new ways of thinking and behaving when using and interacting within information systems and networks. The guidelines constitute a foundation for work towards a culture of security throughout society.