Privacy Laws and Federal Regulations

While privacy laws vary by state, some common principles include allowing individuals to determine what records pertaining to them are collected, maintained and used; requiring agencies to procure consent before records pertaining to an individual may be used for incompatible purposes; and providing individuals with a right to access records 스토킹변호사 pertaining to them.


The Constitution doesn’t explicitly mention privacy, but it does provide protections for personal liberties and property. For example, the First Amendment states that people can’t be forced to quarter soldiers in their homes, while the Fourth and Fifth Amendments prohibit search and seizure without warrants. The Fourteenth Amendment also provides for the right to be free of discrimination. These constitutional provisions are the basis for privacy laws, which limit how much information law enforcement and other government entities can collect on individuals.

Court decisions on privacy rights are often based on more than one constitutional provision, and it can be difficult to determine which ones apply to a given case. For example, many privacy cases are based on First Amendment principles such as freedom of association and freedom of speech. In these cases, courts will balance the state’s interest in preventing violence or crime with an individual’s right to privacy.

Other privacy laws are based on the Fifth Amendment and its protections against unauthorized searches and seizures. This includes the right to privacy in one’s home, and the Fifth Amendment applies to electronic communications such as phone calls and emails. Another aspect of the Fifth Amendment is that it protects against appropriation, or using someone else’s name, likeness, or voice without their permission. For example, if a private business uses a person’s image for an advertisement without their permission, this is considered appropriation and violates the Fifth Amendment.

Federal Trade Commission Act

The Federal Trade Commission, an independent government agency established in 1914, has broad authority to police “unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce.” The FTC uses that power to enforce consumer protection and privacy laws, including data security and identity theft. The Commission also works to educate consumers and businesses about those issues.

The Commission has brought a number of legal actions against companies for mishandling personal consumer information, such as actions in cases related to peer-to-peer file sharing, social media networking and failure to abide by data privacy commitments. The Commission’s work in this area has helped to shape the nation’s privacy jurisprudence.

Generally, the FTC’s actions involving data security are based on the assumption that companies make promises about how they will treat consumers’ private information. That assumption is largely built on the notion that the company must be able to keep those promises, regardless of the nature of its business.

To avoid litigation, the Commission requires that businesses disclose how they will use personal consumer information and comply with their own privacy policies. In addition, the FTC requires that companies maintain reasonable security measures, and it prohibits false statements or omissions about those security measures. The Commission also imposes obligations on companies that transfer personal consumer information across borders, such as the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Framework and the Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework.

Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act

The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) is a federal privacy law that requires financial institutions to disclose their information-sharing practices to consumers and to allow consumers to opt out of the sharing of nonpublic personal information with certain nonaffiliated third parties. GLBA also requires that companies protect data against unauthorized access and disclose any breaches to affected customers in a timely manner. The Act imposes penalties for failure to comply with these provisions.

The Act applies to “financial institutions,” which includes many types of businesses that offer banking services, such as credit unions and banks. It also covers some nonbanking entities, such as insurance companies and retailers that sell consumer products, such as automakers and airlines. Institutions of higher education also qualify as financial institutions under GLBA due to their involvement in student loans and other activities related to students.

GLBA regulations require financial institutions to develop and implement administrative, technical and physical safeguards to protect customer information from unauthorized access and disclosure. The safeguards must be based on the “reasonable security needs” of the institution, and must include measures to prevent unauthorized access by employees and contractors. GLBA also prohibits the sale of consumer financial data and pretexting (obtaining personal information through false pretenses). The recent Cambridge Analytica scandal brought user privacy into focus, and it’s no wonder that companies are scrambling to comply with a wide array of new privacy laws and regulations.

California Consumer Privacy Act

As a result of the California Consumer Privacy Act and its new rules regarding consent, businesses are now faced with strict guidelines to protect data and consequences for those that don’t. These laws are a major milestone in consumer privacy and could serve as the foundation for federal legislation.

The CCPA and its companion, the California Privacy Rights Act, apply to any business that collects personal information from residents of California or sells that information. Personal information is defined as any unique identifier that relates to, describes, or can be associated with a particular individual or household. The laws require companies to disclose proactively to consumers their rights under the law, which includes a right to request and receive the full list of personal information collected by a company. They also must update their privacy policies every 12 months to ensure they are in compliance.

Businesses that are not in compliance can face significant fines for violating the new laws. Some companies have already been sued by consumers seeking class action suits to enforce CCPA and CPRA consent requirements. As a result, many are making big changes to their policies and practices to comply with the new laws. For example, Lyft has changed its privacy policy to include a detailed explanation of what it collects from riders and how it uses that data as well as the categories of third parties with whom it shares that information. The company also offers a tool to help consumers opt out of that sharing.