Home > Past Releases and Reports > Privacilla.org Releases Major Study on State Privacy Protection
For Immediate Release
July 23, 2002
Contact: Jim Harper
Privacilla.org Releases Major Study on State Privacy Protection
State Tort Law Protects Americans, Allows Beneficial Uses of Information
Washington, D.C. — Privacilla.org released a major study today that explores the existence and impact of
state privacy law. Though poorly recognized, the state privacy torts provide baseline protections for privacy,
while allowing innovative and beneficial uses of information to go forward.
The study is called "The Privacy Torts: How U.S. State Law
Quietly Leads the Way in Privacy Protection."
It is available on the Privacilla Web site at http://www.privacilla.org.
On the release of the study, Privacilla.org Editor Jim Harper said, "American law protects privacy, and
policymakers at the state, federal, and international levels need to know it. Lawmakers have been unaware
of the existence and clear merits of state privacy law for far too long." In addition to discussing the
history and basis of state privacy protection law, the report makes several conclusions.
State law provides comprehensive baseline protections for privacy that apply to all information,
online and off. The report faults pro-regulation privacy advocates for perpetuating widespread ignorance of
existing law and needlessly hyping threats to privacy. There are important criticisms of state law, and
the report challenges advocates to "say so directly and articulate what is inadequate about existing protections."
The Privacilla report argues that using litigation to protect privacy is dramatically superior to using
regulation aimed at the same ends. It also criticizes the regulatory fad of "notice-and-choice" privacy protection
as "a technocratic approach that cannot succeed."
The report cites the federal Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and Health
Insurance Portability and Accountability Act as examples of law that promised greater privacy protection, but ended
up guaranteeing government access to personal and private information.
Later this week, Privacilla.org Editor Jim Harper will appear at the National Conference of State Legislatures and speak in his
capacity as an Adjunct Fellow with The Progress & Freedom Foundation.
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