Wendy Davis reports:
Whatever else the defeat of Congress member Rick Boucher (D-Va.) by Republican Morgan Griffith signifies, it likely doesn’t mean that online privacy legislation will be off lawmakers’ agenda.
Indeed, industry watchers tell MediaPost that they expect Congress will continue to focus on privacy even in Boucher’s absence. “This is not going to change the fact that privacy legislation is in play,” Jules Polonetsky, co-chair and director of the think tank Future of Privacy Forum, tells MediaPost.
Privacy advocate Jeff Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, adds that privacy is “both a red and blue hot-button issue.”
Read more on MediaPost.
In addition to the individuals mentioned in her article, I will be watching newly elected Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Ct), who as Attorney General of Connecticut, initiated a number of consumer- and privacy-oriented lawsuits to protect Connecticut consumers. Connecticut was the first state to sue an entity under the HITECH Act, and the case settled in July with Health Net paying the state $250,000.00 Blumenthal had also opened an investigation into a breach involving Griffin Hospital, and pressured the state Teachers’ Retirement Board to provide its members with two years of free credit monitoring in response to their delayed notification of a breach. In other recent actions, he led a coalition of state attorneys general who investigated Google’s Street View wi-fi fiasco. In light of his past performance, I really hope he will provide a strong and clear voice for consumer data protection and breach notification.
I also hope that some of the newly elected people on the far right will remember that arch-conservatives, libertarians, and Tea Partiers generally stand for small government and strong personal privacy. Given that some privacy issues cross all party lines, if they can work together with more progressive members of Congress, we could see some interesting examples of an issue making strange but productive bedfellows.