From the Filing Cabinet to the Cloud: Updating the Privacy Act of 1974

May 12, 2021 in Featured, Key Report, Privacy Act of 1974, Public Policy

208 Pages Posted: 14 May 2021

Date Written: May 12, 2021

Abstract

This report focuses on the Privacy Act of 1974, an important and early privacy law that applies to US Federal agencies and some contractors. The Privacy Act was written for the 1970s information era — an era characterized by the use of mainframe computers and filing cabinets. Today’s digital information era looks much different than the ’70s. Smart phones are smarter than the old mainframes, and documents are now routinely digitized and stored and perhaps even analyzed in the cloud. The report focuses on why the Privacy Act needs an update that will bring it into this century, and how that could look and work.

The report includes a discussion of the Privacy Act's history and shortcomings. It also offers the proposed text of a replacement statute to be titled the United States Agency Fair Information Practice Act (USA FIPS Act). There is a section-by-section analysis for the proposed law.

Keywords: privacy, privacy act of 1974, fair information practices, US government

Suggested Citation

Gellman, Robert, From the Filing Cabinet to the Cloud: Updating the Privacy Act of 1974 (May 12, 2021). May 12, 2021 in Featured, Key Report, Privacy Act of 1974, Public Policy, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3844965

Robert Gellman (Contact Author)

Independent ( email )

Washington, DC

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