If Congress is to impose new laws aimed at protecting privacy, it is particularly
important that Congress alone take responsibility for the decisions it makes.
A growing practice in Washington over the last few decades has been the delegation of
responsibility for hard decisions to bureaucracies in the Executive Branch. This
has allowed Congress to take credit for good intentions, while denying responsibility
for laws that are difficult or impossible to implement. It has undermined the
accountability of elected officials, allowed unrestrained growth of the government,
created a corresponding loss of individual freedom, and empowered the bureaucracy to
have more control over American life than it should.
Privacy concerns vary with each individual. This means that it is very difficult
to craft law that will satisfy Americans as both privacy-seekers and consumers, while
protecting innovation and economic growth. Congress should not shirk its responsibility
to make difficult decisions about privacy.
Any new privacy law must have narrow and specific terms that do not leave
broad gaps to be interpreted by life-long bureaucrats in the federal agencies.
Thoughtful and dedicated as those people are, they are not elected and they do not
represent the views or interests of all Americans as elected representatives
in Congress do.