Gore proposes an Electronic Bill of Rights to protect the privacy of personal data

Vice President Gore last month announced steps to create an Electronic Bill of Rights
to protect citizen privacy in an increasingly electronic world.


The administration plans to discuss its plans with state and local governments to find
a balance among the protection of personal information collected by governments, the right
of access to public records and First Amendment protections.


Gore outlined the plans at a White House event where he and President Clinton spoke.


“You should have the right to choose whether your personal information is
disclosed,” Gore said. “You should have the right to know how, when and how much
of that information is being used. And you should have the right to see it yourself, to
know if it’s accurate.”


The Office of Management and Budget will coordinate privacy issues by drawing on the
expertise and resources of other government agencies, Gore said. The goal is to create
policy that cuts across agency lines, he said.


Clinton said the administration is backing off a proposal that the government assign a
health care identification number to every American citizen [GCN, July 27, Page 77].


“We live in a nation where people can get access to your bank account and your
medical records more easily than they can find out what movies you rent at the video
store,” he said. Some people are so worried about privacy that they won’t give
doctors complete information, he said.


The administration initiative coincides with a General Services Administration call for
agencies to better protect the privacy of users of government Web sites.


The agency noted that privacy concerns on federal Web sites will grow as more agencies
expand their use of Web applications.

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