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“(ii) such law enforcement agency offers
clear and convincing evidence that the subject of the information is reasonably suspected of engaging in criminal activity and that the information sought is highly probative and material to the
“(D) to any person if the disclosure is solely of the names and addresses of patrons and if
"(i) the library has provided the patron with
or indirectly, the title, description, or subject matter of any library materials borrowed or serv
"(E) to any authorized person if the disclosure is
necessary for the retrieval of overdue library materials or the recoupment of compensation for damaged or lost
library materials; or
“(F) pursuant to a court order, in a civil proceed
ing upon a showing of compelling need for the informa
tion that cannot be accommodated by any other means,
“(i) the patron is given reasonable notice, by the person seeking the disclosure, of the court proceeding
relevant to the issuance of the court order; and
“Cü) the patron is afforded the opportunity to appear and contest the claim of the person seeking the
7 If an order is granted pursuant to subparagraph (C) or (F), 8 the court shall impose appropriate safeguards against unau
9 thorized disclosure.
"(d) CIVIL ACTION.—(1) Any person aggrieved by any
11 act of a person in violation of this section may bring a civil
“(A) actual damages but not less than liquidated damages in an amount of $2,500;
“(B) punitive damages;
“(C) reasonable attorneys' fees and other litigation costs reasonably incurred; and
“(D) such other preliminary and equitable relief as
the court determines to be appropriate.
“(3) No action may be brought under this subsection
22 unless such action is begun within 2 years from the date of 23 the act complained of or the date of discovery. 24 “(4) No liability shall result from lawful disclosure per25 mitted by this section.
1 “(e) Personally identifiable information obtained in any 2 manner other than as provided in this section shall not be 3 received in evidence in any trial, hearing, arbitration, or 4 other proceeding in or before any court, grand jury, depart5 ment, officer, agency, regulatory body, legislative committee, 6 or other authority of the United States, a State, or a political
7 subdivision of a State.
"(f) DESTRUCTION OF OLD RECORDS.-A person sub
9 ject to this section shall destroy personally identifiable infor10 mation as soon as practicable, but no later than one year 11 from the date the information is no longer necessary for the
12 purpose for which it was collected and there are no pending
13 requests or orders for access to such information under sub
14 sections (b)(2) or (c)(2) or pursuant to a court order. 15 “(g) SELECTION OF A FORUM.-Nothing in this section
16 shall limit rights of consumers or patrons otherwise provided
17 under State or local law. A Federal court shall, in accord
18 ance with section 1738 of title 28, United States Code, give 19 preclusive effect to the decision of any State or local court or 20 agency in an action brought by a consumer or patron under a
21 State or local law similar to this section. A decision of a
22 Federal court under this section shall preclude any action
23 under a State or local law similar to this section.".
(b) CLERICAL AMENDMENT.-The table of sections at
2 the beginning of chapter 121 of title 18, United States Code,
3 is amended
(1) in the item relating to section 2710, by strik
ing out “2710” and inserting “2711” in lieu thereof;
(2) by inserting after the item relating to section
“2710. Wrongful disclosure of video tape rental or sale records and library
Mr. KASTENMEIER. Today I am pleased that the Subcommittee on Courts, Civil Liberties, and the Administration of Justice joins with the Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Technology and the Law to hold a hearing on H.R. 4947 and S. 2361, bills to protect the privacy of users of video and library services.
Without objection, by unanimous consent, this meeting may be covered in whole or part by television and/or radio broadcast and/ or still photography pursuant to Rule 5 of the Committee rules.
Before making any opening statement, I would like to turn to the distinguished Chairman of the Subcommittee on Technology and the Law, Senator Pat Leahy, for his opening remarks.
Mr. LEAHY. Mr. Chairman, I appreciate that and the courtesy of you letting me go first.
As I mentioned, we have a vote that is going to occur very quickly in the Senate and I will cut out for a few minutes and do that and come back.
I am pleased to be here for this joint hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Technology and the Law and the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Courts, Civil Liberties, and the Administration of Justice.
I want to compliment you, sir, for the leadership you have shown, not only in this subject but in so many that I have had the honor of working with you on over the past several years on every area from privacy to high technology issues.
It has been a pleasure and it is an honor for me to be able to come over here and join you in what's a much nicer hearing room than we have over on the other side. There's better lighting.
Today, we are considering the Video and Library Privacy Protection Act. That is legislation that on the Senate side, I introduced with Senators Simon, Simpson and Grassley. And you, Mr. Chairman, and Congressman McCandless introduced companion legislation here.
Judge Bork's confirmation hearings last year really provided the forum for a national civics lesson. From Vermont to California, Americans exchanged their views on our system of government. No lesson from those hearings affected us more personally or deeply than the debate on the right to privacy.
Vermonters certainly let me know where they stood when reporters obtained a list of the movies that Judge Bork and his family rented and they published them in a Washington newspaper. It was disturbing to see that personal information can be fair game for reporters or lawyers or nosy neighbors.
Most of us rent movies at video stores and we check out books from our community libraries. These activities generate an enormous report of personal activity that, if it is going to be disclosed, makes it very, very difficult for a person to protect his or her privacy.
It really isn't anybody's business what books or what videos somebody gets. It doesn't make any difference if somebody is up for confirmation as a Supreme Court Justice or they are running the local grocery store. It is not your business. It is not my business. It is not anybody else's business, whether they want to watch Disney or they want to watch something of an entirely different nature. It really is not our business.