Washington, D.C.—The following is a statement from Peter Swire, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and the C. William O’Neill Professor of Law at the Ohio State University. He is a globally recognized expert on privacy, cybersecurity, and the law of the Internet. He served in the National Economic Council under President Obama, and was Chief Counselor for Privacy under President Clinton, where he chaired a White House Working Group on how to update wiretap laws for the Internet age.
“Today the administration announced a major legislative proposal to improve cybersecurity for America’s critical infrastructure. The proposal is sophisticated, and provides good solutions for many pressing cybersecurity problems. For instance, it proposes a uniform national standard for company data breaches, enables the government to hire better cybersecurity experts, and toughens the penalties for cybercrimes.
The biggest problem is that the proposal updates data sharing rules without the right privacy protections. Since the Patriot Act, all the legislative changes have been one-sided. The government gets more and more access to personal information. We need to reinstate basic privacy protections for emails, location data, and data stored in cloud computing centers. If we increase data sharing, as the administration proposes, then we should update the Electronic Communications Privacy Act as well.”