Ideas to Address Adverse Impacts of Government Data Collection

Yael Weinman photo

The summer’s revelations about U.S. government data collection and surveillance programs have sparked discussions about how governments can strike the right balance between privacy and civil liberties and national security.  The discussion has stretched from kitchen tables to the Oval Office to world capitals.  

The tech sector has a unique role in this debate.  Our companies work to protect their customers’ privacy as they provide them with innovative products and services.  All of us involved in the discussion relating to government collection of information -- the business community, privacy groups, the government and others -- need to continue to work together on how to achieve greater transparency and provide appropriate protections. 

Six associations joined in shaping privacy protection ideasTo that end, ITI recently joined with a number of tech and privacy advocates at a White House meeting where participants discussed privacy and data security in a world of connected technology.  We pledged to provide input and ideas on potential actions that could better protect civil liberties in government data collection, and prevent the adverse privacy and economic impacts that are stemming from the status quo.

Today, the tech sector is making good on that promise.  ITI and five major technology trade associations have developed specific recommendations designed to address privacy and civil liberties concerns and ensure the ability of industry to continue to innovate.  Our recommendations are threefold:

  • Implement appropriate transparency with respect to national security programs;
  • Support reforms to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act that would enhance privacy in law enforcement investigations; and,
  • Promote policies that allow for unimpeded cross-border data flows such as the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Framework

Read the entire letter here.

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