Senior Fellow Peter Swire Testifies at Senate Hearing


FPF Senior Fellow Peter Swire testified as part of today’s Senate Hearing on the “State of Federal Privacy and Data Security Law: Lagging Behind the Time.” The Hearing, held by the Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management; the Federal Workforce; and the District of Columbia, aimed to address the privacy-related challenges facing federal agencies today.

Professor Swire’s testimony focused on four key proposals to help the government address various privacy concerns:

  1. The Senate Should Promptly Confirm the Five Nominees for the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board.
  2. Congress should create a federal Chief Privacy Officer by statute, to improve coordination of privacy policy across federal agencies.
  3. There is an important loophole in the Privacy Act, but the problem can best be addressed by changes to the E-Government Act.
  4. The oversight process should focus more attention on the line between identified and de-identified data in federal agencies.
    1. Professor Swire is working with the Future of Privacy Forum this year on identifying good practices for de-identification in the online setting

Professor Swire’s full testimony is available here.

Peter Swire is the C. William O’Neill Professor of Law at the Moritz College of Law of the Ohio State University.  In 1999, he was named Chief Counselor for Privacy, in the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.  In that role, he was the first (and thus far the only) person to have government-wide responsibility for privacy policy. As Chief Counselor for Privacy, he worked extensively with the Privacy Act of 1974, helped institutionalize the practice of Privacy Impact Assessments for federal systems, and addressed many other privacy and cybersecurity issues affecting federal agencies. Since then, Professor Swire has continued to write and speak extensively on privacy and security issues.