Elise Berkower

Elise Berkower
Nuts & Bolts: Eye on Privacy

The April release of the president’s Identity Theft Task Force’s report, “Combating Identity Theft: A Strategic Plan,” offers a convenient reason to revisit the subject of protecting customer data. The report contains a comprehensive overview of existing laws that relate to the protection of customer data, such as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley (GLBA) and its attendant Safeguards Rule, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The report also discusses the data breach notification laws that currently have been enacted by 38 states. Instead of this patchwork of state laws, the task force’s report recommends the passage of pre-emptive federal

Nuts & Bolts: Eye on Privacy

A spate of do-not-mail bills has been introduced in state legislatures in the past few months. While these are attempts to capitalize on the extremely popular Do-Not-Call Registry, nationally maintained by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the sponsors of these new bills also claim the prevention of identity theft and environmental concerns as motivations. At the time of this writing, two bills already had been pulled or withdrawn by their sponsors (Colorado HB 1303 and Montana HB 718) in the wake of concerted opposition from groups such as the U.S. Postal Service, Letter Carriers’ associations and the Direct Marketing Association. In withdrawing their bills, the

Nuts & Bolts: Eye on Privacy

When the Democrats gained control of the House and the Senate, there was speculation about what they might do by way of privacy legislation. On Jan. 5, they introduced HR 1, the “Implementing the 9/11 Commission Recommendations Act of 2007.” Although not a privacy bill per se, HR 1 indicates the Democrats’ focus leans more toward restraining government intrusion in intelligence gathering than on marketers’ collection and use of information about their customers. Sprinkled throughout the bill, however, are references to the “private sector” and the recognition that private sector organizations “possess valuable information that when ‘fused’ with law enforcement data and properly analyzed