ERIC Number: ED207923
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Aug
Reference Count: 0
The U. S. Privacy Protection Commission--A Retrospective View from the Chair.
Linowes, David F.
This paper examines how the U.S. Privacy Protection Commission functioned. Examined are its basic authority, procedures and policies, operational plan, distinctive features, staffing, and results of recommendations. Created by an act of Congress in 1974, the Commission was authorized to examine all actual and potential invasions of privacy in the private and public sectors. The group was staffed with social scientists with strong research backgrounds. The Commission was granted subpoena power, which, although it was only used a few times, undoubtedly encouraged prompt cooperation from those whom the Commission sought to involve. All investigations were based on the hearings process. This, coupled with the policy of inviting as witnesses the chief executive officers of the organization under investigation rather than lower ranking officials assured the Commission of the highest quality of hard data. The Commission's final report contained 162 recommendations on consumer credit, the depository relationship, mailing lists, insurance records, employment records, medical care records, investigative reporting, government access to records, education records, government assistance (welfare), the role of the states, the Privacy Act, income tax administration, research and statistics, and the Social Security number. An immediate reaction following the report was the introduction in Congress of some 200 bills incorporating the recommendations. This is especially noteworthy inasmuch as only one half of all commissions have any legislation introduced at all. Several of the bills passed. In addition, hundreds of public and private groups also implemented the recommendations voluntarily. (Author/RM)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Ad Hoc Groups; Privacy Act 1974; Privacy Protection Commission
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Sociologial Association (Toronto, Ontario, Canada, August, 1981).