First the good news:
Check out the hundreds of comments written in response to the invitation to submit commentary to the federal CEP. You will find an overwhelming number who do not want the federal government to create federal unit tracking for individuals.
Notable pro-privacy comments came from moms and dads and teachers, from the Future of Privacy Forum, the Parent Coalition for Student Privacy, the American Civil Liberties Union, United States Parents Involved in Education, The Electronic Privacy Information Center, the American Principles Project, and many others.
(There are small and big groups who proclaim that creating a federal unit tracking system is a great idea, for various (less vital) reasons. Privacy, schmivacy, they say: just overturn the student record ban. Bill Gates. The U.N. There’s one group that calls itself “The Young Invincibles” that released a Student Agenda for Postsecondary Data Reform calling for collecting data on all students directly to the federal level.)
FYI, this fight– for and against removing privacy rights– is not new. Three years ago, privacy-enders were, for various reasons, pushing for a bill (Senator Rubio’s and Senator Warner’s) that would have done exactly what the CEP is aiming to do right now. See this 2013 article on what Bill Gates’ think tanks and Rubio/Warner had planned.
Some now wonder if the federal CEP commission will try to hijack well-intentioned bills, such as Rep. Mia Love’s Know Before You Go bill, in order to achieve their privacy-ending scheme.
Here’s the bad news:
Even though there were SO many comments given to the CEP commission stating, like this classic: “Our personal information is not for your use. Keep your hands off of it. This is just plain wrong. Stop it.” –Still, public comments are only public comments. There is nothing in the law that created the CEP commission (less than a year ago, CEP was created by Paul Ryan and company) that states that the CEP has to respect the wishes of the people who send in public comments. That’s what happens when you allow appointees to run the show. The public has no actual recourse, no voting power, when it hates how this appointee-driven show is being run.
So tell your senators and reps.
They do have power.
And privacy is huge. It’s basic to American freedom. Remember that part in the fourth amendment to the Constitution about being safe from intrusion in our papers and personal effects?
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
The Fifth Amendment further protects property (and privacy):
“No person shall be … deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”
Do something small. Write one letter. Make one phone call. Tell your representatives that you expect them to represent your will on this. We have to defend our rights; no one else cares if we don’t care.