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The purpose of the Congressional Bi-partisan Privacy Caucus is to explore data privacy and security issues before Congress, positively impact policymaking in this important area, and hold informational briefings for Members and staff. The importance of addressing privacy concerns has grown exponentially with the prevalence of digitized personal information relating to Americans' health and financial information, Social Security Numbers and other sensitive data, including information and images shared through social media.
The Caucus was founded by Representative Joe Barton and Senator Edward Markey to explain the importance of fundamental privacy principles and demonstrate how they are impacted in the real world. Today, the caucus is co-chaired by Representatives Joe Barton and Diana DeGette. These principles are:
- individuals should be informed when private firms or government agencies collect and/or disclose personally identifiable information;
- individuals should have a right to access their personally identifiable information and have the ability to correct it;
- individuals must be able to consent before a private company or government agency can disclose the individual's personally identifiable information; and
- federal privacy laws should not preempt stronger state privacy laws.