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Editorial: Keep Personal Data Private

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November 24, 2009- Perhaps the most significant proposed piece of privacy legislation yet, The Personal Data Privacy and Security Act of 2009, went to the full Senate earlier this month. While other issues in Washington currently garner the lion share of congressional and public attention, this New York Times editorial says that Senate leaders should find the time to vote on it. Sponsored by Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, the bill "would put more protections in place for personal data" and would fill the gap in federal data protection legislation. 

"There are many important issues competing for Congress's attention," the editor states, "but keeping people's personal information safe should rank high on the list." The bill would criminalize the concealment of security breaches and mandate encryption, among other requirements. While in support of the legislation, the editorial does note that the bill would preempt state privacy laws, and argues that that would be acceptable—unless the bill is weakened through the legislative process. 

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