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Data Protection in the United States: U.S. National Report

  • Shawn Marie BoyneEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Ius Comparatum - Global Studies in Comparative Law book series (GSCL, volume 38)

Abstract

The United States did not elaborate any uniform federal legislation to ensure the privacy and protection of personal data. Instead, data protection in the United States is constructed out of a combination of sector-specific federal and state laws, and administrative and industrial regulations. Although in some areas American privacy protection framework may be deemed as less robust in comparison with the European one, in the other areas it provides even greater protection than in Europe.

Individual legislative acts evolved over years from a number of specific instruments addressing issues of the private use of the electronic means of communication and data storage, with a special attention to the collection and use of information collected from children under the age of 13. Relatively fewer privacy rights are secured in case of employees in the workplace. Most notably, federal laws provide for lawful exceptions from prohibited monitoring and interception of the employees’ communication, but they are stricter on monitoring and sharing the content posted on social media.

The laws on national security and defense purposes foresee a considerably broader spectrum of provisions regarding interception and forensic examination of the data and communication, especially in wake of the 9/11 events, as stipulated in the USA Patriot Act. Although the USA Freedom Act curbed and amended those provisions substantially, legal problems arising from these laws are still acute and widely discussed.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Indiana University, Robert H. McKinney School of LawIndianapolisUSA

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