Privacy News: US Senate passes USA FREEDOM Act


June 2, 2015

San Diego — Today, the United States Senate passed the USA FREEDOM Act in a vote of 67 – 32. As passed, the final bill will limit the “bulk collection” of Americans’ phone data after the President has signed the bill into law.

“This bill reforms the National Security Agency’s collection of phone records, and it also provides important balances to the FISA court which will allow the court to proceed with more transparency and increased fairness,” said WPF Executive Director Pam Dixon.

The surveillance programs of the NSA have come into sharp relief since the revelations of Edward Snowden beginning in the summer of 2013. While Americans have been sharply divided about whether or not Snowden should have made those initial revelations, a spring 2015 Pew survey on privacy and surveillance found that 65% of Americans said there are not adequate limits on “what telephone and internet data the government can collect.” In the same survey, 93% of adults told Pew that “being in control of who can get information about them is important.”

“We are still interested in further reforms around medical privacy, for example, understanding how or if patients’ medical information is used or collected for surveillance purposes,” said Dixon, who noted that medical data and privacy had been a neglected area of the surveillance debate. “No matter what,  the passage of USA FREEDOM provides important improvements.”


WPF Universal Periodic Review Comments — The Right to Health Privacy: Human Rights and the Surveillance and Interception of Medical and Health Records by Security Agencies


World Privacy Forum

Pam Dixon 760-712-4281


About the World Privacy Forum 

The World Privacy Forum is a nonprofit, non-partisan 501(C)(3) public interest research group. The World Privacy Forum is dedicated to reimagining privacy in a digital era through groundbreaking, in-depth privacy research, analysis, and consumer education of the highest quality. It’s vision is to empower people with the knowledge, rights, and tools they need to protect their privacy and shape their digital lives. The World Privacy Forum has published substantial and respected privacy studies and research, has testified before Congress and federal agencies, and is frequently quoted in the press. WPF is based in San Diego, California.