Data breaches show privacy rules aren’t strong enough

Despite new laws in Europe and California aimed at strengthening the privacy rights of internet users, the United States still operates with a messy patchwork of laws, some decades old. This tangle of regulations has failed to keep up with changing technology and the damage that can occur when personal and business information entrusted to online companies or the government is stolen or exposed to the public.

Congress has been wary of the complex technical, economic and constitutional questions involved in updating internet privacy laws. Part of that wariness may be federal lawmakers’ woeful lack of expertise — in some cases even the basic knowledge — of tech matters that they displayed at recent congressional hearings. But thankfully that reluctance to become more involved appears to be changing, even though Congress’ work is still

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