A Model Regime of Privacy Protection

Privacy and Security

Article Snapshot


Chris Hoofnagle and Daniel J. Solove


University of Illinois Law Review, Vol. 2006, No. 2, pg. 357, 2006


This paper describes a new set of ground rules for privacy.

Policy Relevance

New laws are needed to control how private firms and the government get and use information about ordinary people.

Main Points

  • The Fair Credit Reporting Act regulates how lenders use credit information about indviduals; while information on individuals kept by the government is regulated by the Privacy Act of 1974. But these laws do not regulate all types and uses of personal information.
  • Many private firms collect information about individuals for use in marketing, background checks, and for other reasons, and many of these activities are not regulated. Information can fall in to the hands of identity thieves.
  • New laws should regulated the use of information about people, including:
    • Requirements that information be used only with the subject’s knowledge and consent.
    • Restrictions on the use of social security numbers.
    • Limits on background checks.
    • Requirements that consumers be informed of security breaches, such as when information about them falls into the wrong hands.
    • Private investigators should be more closely regulated and licensed.
    • Government access to financial and other information should be limited and government data mining should be subject to oversight.

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