|HSLDA News||July 20, 2001|
HSLDA Fights For Privacy Rights
As a member of the Privacy Coalition (www.privacy.org), Home School Legal Defense Association attends a wide variety of privacy rights meetings on Capitol Hill with Congressmen and federal officials.
On Tuesday, July 17, Samuel Redfern, manager of HSLDA's Congressional Action Program, attended a Privacy Coalition meeting with Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chairman Timothy Muris. Fourteen attendees from several groups (of the Privacy Coalition) met with Chairman Muris and five FTC officials.
During the open forum, Redfern outlined HSLDA's concerns with privacy. "HSLDA is primarily interested in preventing government intrusions into family rights in the areas of medical privacy, financial records, and social security number abuse, identity theft and private educational records," he said.
While comments by Mr. Muris were strictly off the record, other FTC officials stated that "protecting privacy rights are a key concern of this agency."
The Privacy Coalition recommended changes to federal policy that would improve the FTC's handling of identity theft and privacy breaches, as well as consumer privacy theft by corporations.
HSLDA is more concerned with government intrusion into our member families' privacy than we are with the consumer privacy. An individuals right to privacy should always receive a higher priority than a government's right to information, unless the government has a compelling interest in collecting that information.
Supplying the government with information about a private citizen can never be viewed as harmless. Once a private citizen gives personal information to a government official, the citizen loses any control over where that information is stored or the purposes for which it will be used. The more information a government collects on its citizens, the greater its ability to control the citizens. Informational privacy is an important right. Home school families understand this connection between the right to privacy and the freedom to direct the education of their children. HSLDA is committed to protecting the privacy rights of our members.
How Will HSLDA Defend Family Privacy?
HSLDA opposes citizen-tracking efforts through government regulation and policy. These efforts include:
Expanding the use of social security numbers for identification;
Expanding access by private companies to government databases;
Monitoring the private financial activities of citizens through their banks and financial institutions (e.g., "Know-Your-Customer rules");
Monitoring and track the immunization records of families through vaccine registries; and tracking citizenship through the creation of national identification card.
HSLDA continues to monitor all legislation involving privacy issues. For more information on privacy rights, click below.
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