Al Gore Press Release on Electronic Privacy.
May 14, 1998.
Source: White House Website.

Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release
Thursday, May 14, 1998
(202) 456-7035


Washington, DC--Vice President Gore announced today a new comprehensive privacy action plan from the Clinton Administration that will give people more control over their own personal information.

"We need an electronic bill of rights for this electronic age," the Vice President said. "Americans should have the right to choose whether their personal information is disclosed; they should have the right to know how, when, and how much of that information is being used; and they should have the
right to see it themselves, to know if it's accurate."

Speaking at New York University's 166th Commencement, the Vice President announced new efforts to promote privacy including: calling for legislation to restrict how individual medical records can be used and allow individuals to be informed about their use, and launching a new "opt-out" Website where individuals can prevent personal information from being passed on to others.

In addition, the Vice President called on the federal government to review its own record-keeping to protect personal information from being released. He also announced that the Administration will convene a privacy Summit that will bring privacy and consumer advocates together with industry officials to explore privacy on the Internet as well as children's privacy.  Specifically:

Medical Privacy. Vice President Gore called on Congress to pass strict medical records legislation to restrict how and when individuals' medical records can be used; give individuals the chance to correct those records; and give patients the right to be informed about them.

One Stop Opt-Out. The Vice President announced a new website sponsored by the Federal Trade Commission and located at that will enable individuals to:

Prohibit companies from pre-screening their credit records without their permission;

Prevent their drivers' license data from being sold to data miners; and

Remove their name and address from direct-mailing and telemarketing lists.

Ensure Appropriate Use of Federal Government Data. The Vice President announced that the President has signed a new Presidential Memorandum to agency heads, effective today, that: 1) requires agencies to ensure that new technologies do not erode Privacy Act protections while also examining how new technologies can be used to enhance personal privacy, 2) calls for a thorough
agency-by-agency review of existing privacy practices, and 3) directs the Office of Management and Budget to conduct a review and issue guidance on the way agencies can protect privacy information, especially when they collaborate with state and local governments.

Privacy Summit. To fully understand and address the complex issues involved with privacy in the Information Age, the Vice President called on the Commerce Department to convene a Summit on Privacy within the next month to bring privacy and consumer advocates together with industry officials to explore the feasibility and limitations of the application of self regulation to the Internet and to focus on children's privacy.