Options for Promoting Privacy on the National Information Infrastructure. 8. Summary


Existing law regulates and limits government access to and use of communications information, including both communications content and transactional data generated by communications. Existing law also prohibits the interception of the contents of a communication by a private party. Traditionally, telecommunications service providers were free to disclose transactional data regarding customer use of enhanced telecommunications services to others in the private sector. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 closes this loophole with respect to common carriers. With respect to other service providers, however, such as online services, the United States rely on self regulatory approaches, including contract law, to promote an appropriate level of communications privacy.