New US Senate panel on digital privacy created

February 14, 2011

A new US Senate subcommittee is being created to examine the increasing number of privacy issues arising in the digital age.

Senator Patrick Leahy, a Democrat from Vermont who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, announced the creation of the Subcommittee on , Technology and the Law on Monday.

The new subcommitee is to be chaired by Senator Al Franken, a Democrat from Minnesota, Leahy said in a statement.

"The explosion of new technologies and activities online, including social media, has unleashed new questions about how to protect Americans' privacy in the digital age," Leahy said.

Franken said the "boom of new technologies over the last several years has made it easier to keep in touch with family, organize a community and start a business.

"It has also put an unprecedented amount of personal information into the hands of large companies that are unknown and unaccountable to the American public," he said.

"As chairman of this new subcommittee, I will try to make sure that we can reap the rewards of new technology while also protecting Americans' right to privacy," Franken added.

Leahy said the subcommittee's jurisdiction will include oversight of laws and policies on collection, protection and use of personally identifiable commercial information, privacy within and other online .

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