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I suspect, for what it is worth, that we will limit ourselves to subject types of hearings, with this exception: We are giving serious consideration to having at least one hearing for perhaps several days, just an open-door hearing, in effect inviting anyone to come in and testify after being screened by the Commission, who might feel he has something to contribute to the deliberations of the Commission in the privacy field.
That approach has been recommended to us by people familiar with the privacy question, and I think I am accurate in saying that the Commission leans rather favorably toward at least one such open-door hearing
STATEMENTS FROM INDIVIDUALS Mrs. BURKE. Will there also be an opportunity for individuals who have complaints to submit a statement or is there going to be a staff person who will be able to take individual interviews from aggrieved parties?
Mr. LINOWEs. One of the very important dimensions is that we hope to invite in just such individuals and aggrieved parties. Fortunately, we are beginning to get correspondence and communications from individuals all over the country expressing concern and being aggrieved with their privacy problems.
We received one this morning concerned with the social security number as a universal identifier, another with a credit card company which denied an individual credit. As we get visibility—and to some extent that has been a little bit of our problem, we have not had visibility-we expect to receive many communications.
Our Public Affairs Office is purposely low-keyed. We do not want any flamboyance. On the other hand, we do need some visibility, so that the man in the street, the public, knows that there is an institution established that welcomes this kind of communication.
Mrs. BURKE. Thank you very much.
STATUS OF PERSONNEL
Mr. Linowes, is there any reason why, if this is a temporary commission that expires on July 10, 1977, we are retaining permanent positions?
Mr. LINOWES. Any reason for it to be a permanent commission ? Is that the question?
Mr. Early. Why do we retain permanent personnel ?
Mr. LINOWEs. All of these people are temporary and go out of business when we go out of business.
Mr. EARLY. They are aware of that?
We are not subject to the rules of the Civil Service Commission, although we try to conform to the general board outline.
For example, we classify our personnel in the GS-18, GS-17, et cetera, categories using the civil service symbols, but we are not subject to civil service requirements.
Mr. EARLY. I would just comment that you have made a fine presentation and I wish you the very best of luck.
Mr. LINOWEs. Thank you very much, sir.
REPAYMENT TO PRESIDENT'S FUND FOR UNANTICIPATED NEEDS Mr. MILLER. Mr. Chairman, a few minutes ago our committee chairman had mentioned to you the statement where you say you must repay the $131,300 loan by the President on August 23 from the President's fund for unanticipated needs. That is the first time that I have seen this in any testimony that the funds that the President has for unanticipated needs would be repaid.
If you repay it and if it is not used at the end of the year, it would revert back. Therefore, I am wondering why the need to repay?
Mr. Linowes. They are the instructions, as I understood them I don't know if I brought along a copy of the President's letter spelling out this requirement—do you have a copy of that letter, Mr. Sasser, from the President in which the President made available those funds to us?
Mr. Miller, I have a letter here dated August 23, 1975, written by the President and signed by him addressed to me as chairman of the Privacy Protection Commission, and it is just four short paragraphs, about a sentence each:
Pursuant to the authority in the Treasury, Postal Service, and General Government Appropriation Act 1976, Public Law No. 94-91, I hereby allocate from the appropriation "Unanticipated needs”: Privacy Protection Study Commission, amount $131.300, for necessary expenses for initial operation of the Privacy Protection Study Commission established by Public Law No. 93-579.
These funds allocated shall be reimbursed to the “Unanticipated needs” appropriation by the Commission.
I hereby determine that this allocation is to meet unanticipated needs for an emergency affecting the national interest.
(Signed) GERALD R. FORD. Mr. MILLER. That is good you have it in the record. I believe we will need a clarification because I have not seen it in the testimony before. Is it a matter of when the President does not use the fund for an unanticipated emergency, the funds would revert back. The committee will, I am sure, be able to get clarification.
MANDATE OF THE COMMISSION
In the rest of your testimony, I notice where you have marked study of data banks. I cannot see the project that you have taken on being completed in 2 year's time.
When it goes into standards and procedures now enforced for the protection of personal information, including the standards and criteria governing programs, policy, practices, relating to the collection, soliciting, processing, and use, access, integration, dissemination, and transmission of personal information, that looks like 20 years instead of 2 years.
However, my question concerns computers in the Federal Government. Business operates today relying on computers for information. It is possible to have a terminal where we could pull information from business computers. It is possible for business to have a terminal where they could pull information from the Federal computers.
Now, that could be a complete mailing list. That could be information that might be detrimental to an individual. Are you working in this area to cover this particular field? Let me go one step beyond that if I may. I was at a subcommittee meeting about 11/2 years ago, and I
asked one of the agency heads that was in testifying for computer funds if anyone outside the Federal Government had a terminal on that computer. His reply was yes.
Mr. LINOWEs. First, the first part of your comment, Mr. Miller, every responsible person who is knowledgeable in this field is aghast when he reads the mandate in our charge because of its broadness, its allembracing scope. We are to look into everything involving actual or potential invasions of individual privacy in the private sector and public sector except religion. So, we are very much aware that it is a tremendous job, but by the same token it is a tremendous challenge. And of equal importance and the reason I welcome the shortness of time, very candidly, is that I think technology is moving so fast, our society is moving so fast and in different directions, if our work is to be meaningful we have to complete it as quickly and as effectively as we possibly can.
Giving you an answer 20 years from now is too late, even though it would be convenient in terms of workload.
Therefore, I think it is up to us to use our best judgment to identify the priorities, develop them in a way that will be most intelligible and actionable, and then, if necessary, identify those areas that we feel do not warrant additional study or those areas that we respect fully suggest to Congress and the President they might consider for further study.
But I see great merit in cutting off an institution like this in a fixed period of time regardless of the pressures that are required.
In reference to the second point you make, the fastest growing dimension of the computer industry, as you know, sir, is core-to-core linkage, computer-to-computer linkage. We know the technology is there. At the press of a button you can combine the material that is in the files of the FBI with the files that are in the computers of colleges, with the files that are in the Civil Service Commission, commercial lending institutions.
We know it is possible to link it that way. We don't know if that is taking place yet. This is one of the things we hope our hearings will bring out. If it is in place, we have a whole different scope of problems and the urgency of dealing with them. If these things are not in place, but merely the technology exists, then we have time to merely perhaps suggest sa feguards.
We plan to hear from the most sophisticated computer technicians in the country as well as the users, as well as those who feel they may have been aggrieved, either actually or psychologically. Frankly, personally, I feel we should be as much concerned with the appearance of an invasion of privacy as the actual invasion of privacy.
Psychologically, if a person thinks a computer has something on him, it is just as important to identify that, either to dispel it or confirm it. So the job is an immense one.
I would have sounded less confident if you had asked me these kinds of questions about 4 months ago, but we have analyzed, reanalyzed; and by “we” it is not the editorial “we.” I mean scholars, some of the best minds familiar with the subject in the country. We have pumped their minds. We have thrown this thing at them. I feel we can bring in a credible job. However, there may be some limits as to how many of the specifically enumerated points we can give the kind of treatment to that we would hope they deserve.
Mr. MILLER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I am sure when you return the next time, we will have additional information at that point that we will be able to, well, perhaps find out where we stand and where the core-to-core information is being passed between computers.
We would hope that you would have some testimony on that so that it would be conveyed to us by then. Thank you.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Slack. If there are no further questions, we thank you Mr. Chairman, Ms. Parsons, and gentlemen.
Mr. LINowes. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 29, 1975.
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
BUREAU OF PRISONS
Mr. SLACK. In August of this year our surveys and investigations staff submitted a report to the committee concerning the population, capacity, and utilization of Federal prisons.
If there is no objection I would like to have that report printed in the hearing record. [The investigative report referred to follows:]
AUGUST 5, 1975. Memorandum for the Chairman : Re Population, capacity, and utilization of Federal Prisons.
By directive dated July 19, 1975, the committee requested that a study be made of the validity of prison population and capacity and utilization of existing Federal prison facilities. The inquiry has been completed and the results are included in this report. Respectfully submitted,
DAVID A. SCHMIDT,
House Appropriations Committee.
C. R. ANDERSON,
House Appropriations Committee.