The Privacy Act Executive Order

by Dennis Crouch

I teach internet law – and so I’m working through the Privacy Act statement in President Trump’s recent Executive Order: Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States.

Privacy Act.  [Federal] Agencies shall, to the extent consistent with applicable law, ensure that their privacy policies exclude persons who are not United States citizens or lawful permanent residents from the protections of the Privacy Act regarding personally identifiable information.

The basics of the Privacy Act is that it adds somewhat to the constitutional privacy protections already in place by limiting government collection, maintenance, use, and dissemination of personally identifiable information. 5 U.S.C. § 552a.  The law also facilitates individuals access to their information and to request corrections. Note here that the Privacy Act has several major exceptions – such as law enforcement and national security – that allow for more unlimited data activities.

By its term, the individual protections offered by the Privacy Act are to US Citizens and lawfully admitted permanent residents.  So, the Trump order itself does not contradict the statute. Some agencies, however, have been providing aspects of privacy-act protections to non-citizens and permanent residents.  The order appears to force agencies to stop that approach and instead expand governmental data collection and dissemination of information related to non-Americans.  Of course, European countries take online data privacy much more seriously than we do here, and the new approach may well create a significant further hiccup for American companies that operate overseas (e.g., does your US firm website reach Europe?).  The setup here also further facilitates old spy-agency agreements to share information on each other’s citizens.

I may still be stuck in the globalist view of civil liberties, but my perspective is that the US should not take the general stance of providing civil liberties to its citizenry while affirmatively trampling those same civil liberties for non-citizens.  Exceptions may arise, but as a general matter, no.

Dennis Crouch

About Dennis Crouch

Law Professor at the University of Missouri School of Law. Co-director of the Center for Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship.

126 thoughts on “The Privacy Act Executive Order

  1. Would “environmental protection” be considered the type of “civil liberty” that requires (?) the transcending of the normal approaches to individual sovereignty?

    After all, we do only have one planet, no matter how many sovereigns…

    Any other over-arching “civil liberties” that may transcend sovereignty?

    1. I see that this particular thread has become too long in the tooth to discuss what “civil liberties” mean in the trans-sovereign sense…

      Either that or those pushing for civil liberties may have reconnected with the idea that it is the sovereign that provides the “civil” in civil liberties…

  2. White House says Drumpf didn’t mention Jews on Holocaust Rememberace Day because others were killed, too

    Admiral Bannon is a very deep thinker! What scrapings from the dark corners of the Breitbart comments section will we be rewarded with next?

    1. I can’t speak for Breitbart as I don’t read them unless there’s a headline on yahoo from them, but I am happy to report that CNS news (you know, that right wing h ate monger site that promotes, shudder, “traditional values”) reports that everything in the marriage sphere is working out exactly as the boomers intended it to.

      “And Mark Regnerus was very, very clear that the quote ‘good girls’ are the ones who are at risk now in terms of not being able to get married.””

      link to cnsnews.com

        1. Yeah it’s not bad anon. But Chuck is definitely correct on the kid gloves thing.

          ““No member of the press corps wants to look like they’re singling out a group and making a group feel bad, right, whatever that [group] is.”

          Lol, unless its white cis hetero mails lolololol! Then there are legions of such “members of the press corps” who will jump at the chance. Of course they will fail because white cis hetero mails are tots invincible to such nonsense, secure in who they are and all that, thinking nothing of it. But hey, you know, none of that is sexytimeist raycyst heterophobalismist or genderist! Also, none of that propaganda ever has an effect on the public perception of that group or anything like that because everyone in the public knows explicitly and implicitly that white cis hetero mails are tots macgots the bestest of the evar for evar, and could never be besmirched amirite? Nobody could ever possibly convince anyone of anything different.

          All I’ll say is this, Trump got in, and literally a couple weeks later I’m having coffee with a busty blonde today WHO FCKING BOUGHT ME COFFEE. Coincidence? Meh. Who knows? I’ve gone out with busty blondes before, but I don’t think they’ve ever paid for me. Either way, if this is what a Trump presidency looks like, I think I’ll manage suffer through it.

  3. You guys have got to take a second and look at the DNC’s twitter where they posted:

    “We want to know what YOU want the future of our party to look like and what you want from our next Chair. Tell us:”

    on the day that Trump did a bunch of exec orders and congress was confirming his appointments. It’s hilarious. Read the responses. A lot of actually astute dems in the thread noting they won’t even have a party soon.

  4. “I may still be stuck in the globalist view of civil liberties, but my perspective is that the US should not take the general stance of providing civil liberties to its citizenry while affirmatively trampling those same civil liberties for non-citizens.”

    A “professor” might be expected to comprehend that civil liberties are derived from the Constitution – which applies to American citizens, not non-citizens – and which nowhere presumed to be a Constitution for “the globe”.

    No wonder Johnny can’t read.

    1. Apparently there is a legal course on a higher law than the Constitution out there somewhere, one that transcends all individual sovereigns…

      1. …something that overrides the admitted “By its term, the individual protections offered by the Privacy Act are to US Citizens and lawfully admitted permanent residents. So, the Trump order itself does not contradict the statute.

        Feelings, apparently, run first and trump reason.

      2. Apparently there is a legal course on a higher law than the Constitution out there somewhere, one that transcends all individual sovereigns…

        Maybe it’s the phrase that Republicans would like kids to be forced to recite every day in school.

        Remember that one? It’s on all our currency, too. Some Republicans wanted it there because they thought it would keep “the commies” out. I’m surprised you aren’t aware of all this. Translated, the phrase means “pending fundy approval.”

        LOL

        Of course I’m not surprised, hypocrite.

        Now I’ll let you guys return to the awesomeness of defense of the execution of refugees who can’t pass your Bible quiz. Your very serious people! Don’t forget to wash the Constitution when you’re done humping it. Oh, and there is that international law/treaty aspect to consider after you chucked human decency down the t0 ilet.

        1. Do you have a point?

          Maybe try those short declarative sentences you are always on about.

          As for treaties – my very first comment already noted such (in case, you know, you actually want to address what I have actually written).

          1. Do you have a point?

            Yes. My point is that your credibility on “Constitutional” issues is just about as impressive as your credibility on statutory interpretation issues.

            Which is to say “there is none.”

            You are, however, an incredible hypocrite and it’s funny watching you trying to regain your footing in the grease pit. Wiggle that curly tail with you bff’s NWPA, “Troubled” and 6. You guys are so cute, even with the pillowcases on.

            1. Lovely Accuse Others Of That Which Malcolm Is.

              As for “pillowcases” – you are doing that “one bucket” thing again.

              (and you want to talk about someone else having no credibility…?)

              The irony is stultifying.

              1. I don’t have him on my radar and I don’t watch him on cable.

                That does not mean I bury my head in that sand as to who he his and what his views are. Nor misconstrue the same because he is used as an example that does not fit Malcolm’s “feelings.”

                Your “one bucket” parade continues…

                1. That does not mean I bury my head in that sand as to who he his and what his views are.

                  Tell everyone who “he is” and what “his views” are. He must represent something important to you if you are aware of these things in spite of his “not being on your radar” (whatever that means).

                  Go ahead. Tell everyone about Bill Maher. You’re a very serious person!

                2. Your vapid ploy of “you do the work while I wear my blinders” doubled down with your “so serious” poker tell is kindly denied.

                  Clearly, he is NOT important to me (hence my not watching him).

                  Pull your head out, son.

  5. WASHINGTON, Jan 28 (Reuters) – People holding so-called green cards, making them legal permanent U.S. residents, are included in President Donald Trump’s executive action temporarily barring people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States, a Department of Homeland security spokeswoman said on Saturday.

    “It will bar green card holders,” Gillian Christensen, acting Department of Homeland Security spokeswoman, said in an email.

    If you are a non-citizen resident and would like to make the US your home, your safest bet is to not leave the country. That may mean that you will be separated from your family for an indefinite period of time. But it’s not unreasonable to assume that returning to the US will be difficult or impossible should you choose to leave.

    1. Also, if you haven’t done so recently, now would be great time for patent attorneys (or anybody with money) to donate some money to the ACLU (link here: link to action.aclu.org) or any other organization that provides legal support to immigrants and refugees.

    2. Tech leaders, including Apple, and the CEOS at Google, Facebook, eBay, and Oracle are not happy with the immigration-related executive order from Donald Trump that has sparked worries and anger around the globe Saturday. The order, issued Friday, does not permit entry into the U.S. of people with visas or green cards from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The restrictions are only in place for 90 days at the moment, but that could easily be extended anytime.

      As could the list of countries.

      But so awesome that all these “tech leaders” could sit down and kiss the rings of Der Trmpenfuhrer and his family a couple weeks ago.

    3. Also, since traveler’s with dual citizenship (e.g., [Muslim country]-UK) are now banned from entering the US on their non-Muslim country passport, be prepared for the possibility of reciprocal actions being taken by those countries against dual citizens of the US.

      1. Or how about Olympic gold medallist runner Mo Farah who (until now) has been doing his training in Arizona, where his two children are at the moment. Is he also a terrorist?

        The only Passport he holds is that of the UK. But he was born in Somalia and arrived in England as a minor. He is about to fly back to Arizona. Will he be allowed into the USA?

        Remind me, from which country did the 9/11 terrorists hail. Is their country of origin on the list? If not, why not?

        1. Remind me, from which country did the 9/11 terrorists hail. Is their country of origin on the list? If not, why not?

          Saudi Arabia. It’s not on there because Drumpf has business dealings there.

          And it’s not the only country curiously missing from this list of “dangerous” countries.

          Maybe he’ll get to them all eventually! There’s terrorist in Europe, too, of course. In addition to the terrorists in the US (white Christian terrorists excluded, of course).

          1. “It’s not on there because Drumpf has business dealings there.”

            And also because, a duhr, they’re literally our ally and have been since you were born. Trump would be fine with a “total and complete shutdown” on muslim immigration. You know this to be true.

                1. “Especially since ALL of my great grandparents or grandparents — yes, ALL of them — came here from a foreign country.”

                  Were they dyed-in-the-wool Koran beliebin’ practicing muslims? If not, a total and complete shutdown of muslim immigration would not affect them at all.

              1. PatentBob, what is the most unAmerian thing you have heard in a long time?

                – Jewish refugees are not welcome (FDR, 1939)
                – Iraqi refugees must be vetted again with enhanced vetting (Obama, 2011)
                – Refugees from countries selected by Obama that sponsor terror or who are under control of terror groups must be subject to enhanced vetting (Trump 2017)

  6. “I may still be stuck in the globalist view of civil liberties”

    You are. Don’t worry though. Trump will squish it right out of you! Or you out of it! Either way!

    1. Trump will squish it right out of you!

      Repeated your deluded fantasies won’t make them come true, 6.

      It’s kinda sad that you haven’t figured this out already but that’s what spending 24-7 glued to your pyuk funnel gets you.

  7. link to recode.net

    This is interesting. Needs further looking into, but it looks like Tesla rather than relying on patents is trying to lock everyone down with trade secret law. Tech people should take note.

  8. UK PM Theresa May met with President Trump this week. Did they reinforce and confirm their “5 Eyes” Agreement? Did it provide that GCHQ would help Mr Trump by monitoring US citizens ever more closely while, in return, the NSA would watch UK subjects. All illegal watching of own citizens can be denied by the respective Governments. Neither’s security agency is Big Brother to its own citizens but, one way or another, all are observed.

    Or does it make a decisive difference, whether the spooks monitoring cyberspace sit in Virginia or in Gloucestershire.

    As Dennis observes: “The setup here also further facilitates old spy-agency agreements to share information on each other’s citizens.”

    1. Max, do you care even one whit that we all are in a war against a type of foe that uses terrorism within our own borders?

      1. we all are in a war

        LOL

        And in the front line is a microscopic army of rich entitled patent attorneys who wear giant diapers that they fill up every Sunday when they watch Sean Hannity.

        Be vigilent everybody! The brown people are everywhere! You just can’t trust them.

      2. Hey Ned Heller, you miserable pile of human waste: is there anything that Emperor Tangerine does that you can’t justify by pointing to this “war” on brown people?

        Shouldn’t we be rounding up the non-citizen residents that are already here and putting them in a camp somewhere? I mean … “we’re all in a war” against these “terrorists” and there’s tons of them already inside. How can we possibly tolerate that?

        Tell everyone, Ned. You’re a very serious person, after all, and not just a incredibly small-minded rich white crybaby bi g0t. So tell everyone why we shouldn’t have a camp for these super dangerous brown people.

        1. MM, is this truly your view that the war is about brown people?

          Yeah, I think it is. We got pretty much the same during the Vietnam war when demonstrators chanted something about a “ra…ist” war.

          This view is also centric to the left’s animosity to Israel, viewing its struggle for survival as some sort of ra…ist war against brown people. I have actually seen Jews attacked by mobs of leftists chanting hate.

          The people of the US are watching, MM.

          1. I had no hope you would try to answer the question I asked you, Ned (because you might feel a tiny tiny bit of shame in what’s left of your shriveled conscience).

            But I definitely didn’t expect this bizarre non-sequitur:

            I have actually seen Jews attacked by mobs of leftists chanting hate.

            … therefore …. what? You saw some Jews attacked … therefore …. what?

            I tell you what: millions of Jews were murdered by Germans because of the “threat” they allegedly posed. A lot of those murdered people tried to leave the country and come here. And we turned them away.

            1. anon, MM does not seem to realize that he is gaining no friends here by such “behavior.” I have been one of his few supporters here. But he doesn’t even care about that.

              1. Ned,

                YOU do not seem to realize that his behavior has not changed for nearly ELEVEN years now.

                Previously, as this was pointed out to you, your response was “enjoy his swagger.”

                That’s why I ask you if YOU are enjoying that “swagger” when you are the target of the blight.

          2. They were attacked, MM, because they were accused of supporting Israel, and because Israel was suppressing the Palestinians. Rich white people vs. poor brown people. Everything viewed through the lens of race.

            I agree that we should not have turned away the Jews in ’39. But, in defense of FDR, that was a time FDR was trying keep America out of the brewing war in Europe.

            “At the time of the Munich Agreement in 1938 — with the U.S. not represented — Roosevelt said the country would not join a “stop-Hitler bloc” under any circumstances. He made it quite clear that, in the event of German aggression against Czechoslovakia, the U.S. would remain neutral.[199][200] Roosevelt said in 1939 that France and Britain were America’s “first line of defense” and needed American aid, but because of widespread isolationist sentiment, he reiterated the US itself would not go to war. link to en.wikipedia.org

            Even after Pearl Harbor, FDR made no move whatsoever to actively enter the war in Europe.
            Sept 3, 1939; United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt advocates neutrality in a nationwide radio address. link to en.wikipedia.org

            1. Are you done flooding the stage, Ned? I mean, you can just slink off quietly and change your urine-soaked pants without the dust-kicking. I think there’s a Muslim family a couple miles from you. Have you looked in their windows tonight to make sure they aren’t making a bomb?

              Because you’re a very serious person. And very afraid! Join forces with your ignorant coward friends and see how many lives you need to ruin before you stop filling your drawers.

      3. Ned, I abhor your loose use of inflammatory terms like “war”. My adult life has coincided with terrorist activity (Red Army Faction in Germany, Irish Republican Army in the UK) . But nobody ever said that Germany or the UK was in a state of war, when it was bent on ending such criminal activities.

        The task for all reasonable people is to try to reduce the number of young males who turn into terrorists. What it looks like from where I stand is that Europe has more success than the USA in such efforts. Sometimes it seems to me that, if the objective of the USA were to breed more terrorists, it could hardly improve on its performance, internationally, up to now.

        1. It is not “loose,” MaxDrei, coming directly from the commander in chief.

          Why would you think the term to be loose?

          Odd then this in juxtaposition with your comment about fomenting terrorists.

        2. “The task for all reasonable people is to try to reduce the number of young males who turn into terrorists.”

          By bending the knee?

          LOLOLOL Max. Please.

        3. Max, the direct victims of terror speak of war — against Isis, against Al Qaeda. Certainly, when a terror group controls a large amount of territory such as Isis, it is no longer simply an ideological movement, but a state actor. NATO went to war against the Taliban and Al Qaeda because of 9/11.

          This is a genuine war against specific groups who started it. We cannot win it simply by criminal actions against domestic groups, or by calling them names or hiding our heads in the sand.

          The naivete of the German government, if this is what they think about Isis, et al., is appalling. That they are unwilling to effectively fight these groups is equally appalling.

          And, you should also appreciate that listening to the likes of MM, Hollywood actors and most of the US media that consistently misrepresent Donald Trump for their own political purposes should be taken with a grain of salt. This is not a religious war, a war on Islam or a war on brown people no matter the unmitigated gall and propaganda spewed daily from the American left.

          1. “This is a genuine war against specific groups who started it. We cannot win it simply by criminal actions against domestic groups, or by calling them names or hiding our heads in the sand.”

            You misunderstand Max and his everyday normie/lefty point. Their point is that they don’t want to win it. They want to bow their heads in submission so that more of the mean ol muslims won’t become radicalized and attack them.

            They are submissive, and as they are femininized, this is their natural tendency. And the whole reason why is because feminine influence has been allowed to spread like a cancer throughout nigh all of western society by white cis hetero christian men of yore just rolling over, generally as their religion became femininized/feminized as well, or as they lost religion and turned to a femininized/feminized society as a replacement.

  9. All,

    On the topic of a globalist view (of patents even), below is a link to Bloomberg’s ranking of innovative countries. The US is no 2 in patent activity, behind S. Korea, but falls down in other areas, e.g., tertiary education. I don’t know the methodology, but it’s interesting to ponder.

    link to bloomberg.com

  10. Dennis doesn’t want to talk about it but the purpose of these executive actions is primarily symbolic. More specifically, “prezident” Orange M@niac is waving his tiny fists around to impress the loathesome r@ cists who voted for him.

    The order appears to force agencies to stop that approach and instead expand governmental data collection and dissemination of information related to non-Americans.

    And the r@ cists in the Federal agencies will follow through. Decent human beings will either ignore or inform (implicitly or expressly) that Emperor Tangerine can shove it.

    1. Translation: “Wah”

      (and please note Malcolm that this is not a defense of anyone – merely a shot at you and your runaway rants)

        1. The difference between defense (of anything) and responding to YOUR CRP is rather stark and simple to understand.

          Your repeated attempts to obfuscate that point really does not f001 anyone.

          (even after heavy editing)

  11. Dennis, non US citizen “lawful permanent residents” have the benefit of the statute.

    Now, what we are talking about here are non visiting aliens who are not lawful permanent residents — in other words, they are violating the law by their presence. Most of them did illegally came to the US so with intent to violate the law.

    They get due process, but not much more.

    1. There are a lot of people in the US on visitor & other temporary visas that are neither “lawful permanent residents” nor “citizens.”

      Mr. Trump himself employs a number of people on HB1 visa, for example.

      Those visitors, by Supreme Court rulings, have the projections of the Constitution. As do illegal immigrants, by the way. When the Bill of Rights references “persons” or “people” it does not mean “citizens and lawful permanent residents only.”

      1. Is that within the power of the Supreme Court, JudithIP?

        The basics of US law – and that includes the authority of the Supreme Court – is based on fundamental Sovereign principles.

        See post 1 below.

      2. Judith, I agree that there are a lot of visitors, but we need to keep track of these folks the most in an age of terror.

        I already agree that even illegals should have constitutional protections. But that is not what we are talking about. We are talking about data privacy protected by statute, a benefit conferred by Congress.

    2. what we are talking about here are non visiting aliens who are not lawful permanent residents

      Except that, as written, the order is NOT limited to “non visiting aliens who are not lawful permanent residents”.

      As written, it applies to “not citizens” and “not lawful permanent residents”. That’s a far larger class that includes visiting foreigners and immigrants who are waiting to become citizens, i.e., people who are not violating any law.

      Now before you try to defend this by invoking the “otherwise required by law” boilerplate, ask yourself what kind of an incredibly t0xic arse wouldn’t take the extra fifteen seconds to write something more clear and less threatening?

      Most of them did illegally came to the US so with intent to violate the law.

      Really? Who is “them” exactly and where did you find this information about their “intent”?

      1. “As written, it applies to “not citizens” and “not lawful permanent residents”. That’s a far larger class that includes visiting foreigners and immigrants who are waiting to become citizens, i.e., people who are not violating any law.”

        There may have been a few oversights. Don’t get your panties in a bundle.

  12. Globalist would be correct – if civil liberties are based in a Sovereign’s law.

    If based beyond the law – and only if based beyond the law – the Sovereign’s law – does ANY semblance of the notion of “civil liberties” arise.

    Last as I could tell, we do NOT have any such “One World Order” in place.

    This is not to say that our sovereign may have current treaty obligations of a trans-national “flavor” – my comments fully incorporate such an occurrence.

    1. The Constitution is not a “globalist” document, but the rights guaranteed to “persons” and “peoples” do apply to non-citizens as well.

      1. Rights granted? Odd. Very, very odd. Completely out of step with the whole basis for the American revolution and our constitution. We revolted because King George was not protecting the rights the colonist had as Englishmen as human being.

        No one grants rights. Government among men is established to protect rights.

        1. Sorry, Judith, I misread “guaranteed” to be “granted.”

          I also fundamentally agree that constitutional rights guaranteed to people are guaranteed to non citizens as well.

          But there is no constitutional right of privacy that allows one to engage illegal activity that harms the host nation like a cancer. There is no right to plot crimes, engage in treason, hide income, or vote in elections if one is an illegal. But that, I think is what some here think is a civil liberty.

          1. Those referred to in the Constitution were the posterity of the signatories to the original document. Can one generation bind a successive generation ? Read Lysander Spooner’s essays. The Constitution was amended 1868 via the 14th amendment because there was no basis for the freed slaves to have any citizenship, read the Sup. Ct. decisions referred to as the slaughterhouse cases just before the turn of the century if you all want to come up to speed on this. Meantime, try to stay on point.

    2. Civil Liberties as rights are not granted by the State in the sense that the individual only lives by permission of a proper State. The Sovereign is the source of all inalienable and moral individual rights and the Sovereign is the individual. The Government’s function is to protect individuals from each other and that function in essence is delegated use of the retaliatory force against only those who initiate force or fraud against the individual and to help settle disputes among rational men.

      No State can properly violate civil liberties or any other rights of innocent individuals within its geography, citizen or not, but it can and should fulfill its function to protect individual rights and dispense justice insofar as required to fulfill its function.

      A Nanny State which redistributes wealth by stealing from Bob to feed Jimmy, already violates the rights of its citizens. To require proper entry into that system, i.e. to ensure illegals are assigned the role of Bob or Jimmy according to the required forms, is only fair, after all, why should an illegal not be subjected to the oppression and absurdity if the rest of us must be? Anyone within the area ruled by the State are subjects, and as subjects must we not all be ruled equally under the law of the State? Anything else simply would not be fair…

      Have a great weekend anon.

        1. anon,

          MM had replied with many LOLs to the term “stealing” in my post.

          I note that that particular reply by MM has been removed.

          Perhaps your innocuous “same to you” post was simply accidental collateral damage at about the time MMs post was deleted.

          Don’t read too much into this one… you have said things far more “pointed” which have been left up… so perhaps “unJust” your wow?

          :)

          1. You may be correct as to “collateral damage” in that one string – however, several comments alone and outside the string have been removed.

            The editor is shaping content on this blog, pure and simple.

            That has its consequences (outside of my, or any particular poster’s, concerns) – think limitations of lawsuit reach accorded to internet providers that do not shape content.

Comments are closed.