Privacy Under Attack

Are tougher laws needed to protect citizens?


Privacy advocates warn that emerging technologies — including powerful surveillance equipment and software that can monitor consumers' Internet activity — are eroding Americans' right to privacy. In addition, disclosure of individuals' medical records and genetic information raises the possibility of employment and insurance discrimination. A number of laws protect citizens from unwarranted intrusions by the government, but relatively few offer protection from intrusions by other individuals or employers. Several bills pending in Congress would provide increased privacy protection for citizens, but opponents of privacy legislation say self-regulation can better protect consumers, especially those making purchases over the Internet.

A remote camera monitors traffic in Los Angeles. Privacy advocates worry that new camera and computer technologies are increasingly being used to violate citizens' right to privacy.

(AP ...

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