The Personal Data Privacy And Security Act of 2005 (PDF full-text of S. 1789) was just approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee and moves forward to Senate hearings. This brings the issue to the forefront for me.
Of interest to me is 'Title II - Data Brokers', beginning on page 15. Here is a snippet that I found interesting.
"A data broker shall, upon request of an individual, disclose to such individual for a reasonable fee all personal electronic records pertaining to that individual..."So, I will have to pay a reasonable (??) fee to find out what information companies have about me?
Also of interest is 'Title III - Privacy and Security of Personally Identifiable Information', beginning on page 25. This states that the individual protections provided under this Title are only enforceable if a business maintains personal information on at least 10,000 Americans. This seems to be a large loophole as smaller communities can be left unprotected.
'Title IV - Government Access to and Use of Commercial Data' (p. 54) stipulates (gosh, these words just seem to come out of nowhere when writing about legal matters) that federal agencies may acquire personal data from a data broker if the agency: (1) completes a privacy impact statement, and (2) adopt regulations that specify how the data will be handled. It will be interesting to see whether we (the public) may access these statements and regulations.