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Lawmakers Propose "Privacy Commission" By David McGuire, Newsbytes March 15, 2000
Worried that the current barrage of legislation aimed at protecting consumer privacy may be dangerously under-coordinated, a pair of lawmakers plan Wednesday to unveil legislation that would create a commission to study the thorny issue.
"Our concern is that you've got a lot of bills out there," Chris Battle, a spokesperson for Rep. Asa Hutchinson, R-Ark., said today. "You might get a hodge-podge collection of bills shotgunned through Congress without much coordination."
To address that concern, Hutchinson and Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., propose the creation of a congressional "privacy commission" that would be charged with examining the privacy issue from a comprehensive standpoint.
Under the soon-to-be-introduced legislation, the bipartisan commission would be charged with looking at privacy as it relates to health information, government records, banking transactions and Internet communications, Battle said.
Both Congress and the President would be called upon to name members to the commission, which would include representatives from the business, consumer and academic communities.
Under the legislation, the Privacy Commission would have roughly a year- and-a-half to mull the issue before presenting final recommendations to Congress.
By stepping back and addressing the privacy debate in a comprehensive fashion, Congress should be able to avoid making hasty mistakes, Battle said. "We don't want bills passed thatcause unintended damage."
-- Jen Bunker (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 15, 2000