The Electronic Privacy Information Center released its annual Privacy Report Card for the Obama Administration and – when compared to last year’s results – there is only on one privacy subject that the administration retained it’s good grade: cybersecurity.
“One of the most difficult subjects for any administration is preserving the openness of the internet while protecting the country against genuine cyber threats,” it says in the report.
“For 2010, we see a continued effort by the Administration to safeguard privacy rights for internet users, but we also note the growing influence of the National Security Agency (NSA).” What they would like to see is the White House being more transparent about the role of that agency in cybersecurity.
A privacy subject on which the administration almost got a failing grade is that regarding civil liberties – mostly because it failed to do something about “many troubling programs from the Bush years,” expanded Fusion Centers and watch lists.
When it comes to consumer privacy, EPIC notes that the “FTC has been unable or unwilling to pursue any significant privacy investigations. The agency has become a black hole for privacy complaints that earlier Commissions routinely pursued.” Final grade: “C”.
And while on the subject of medical privacy the administration got an almost stellar “A-” last year – mainly because it had created privacy safeguards in the HI-TECH Act – this year the grade fell to a “B” because their implementation has slowed.