What laws protect me from invasions of privacy?

Everyone is talking about their right to privacy in the internet age, but do Americans really know their legal rights in this respect? Learning about your privacy rights — and what the government, businesses and other individuals can and cannot do with your information — is an important first step to ensure your privacy is secure.

In fact, there are numerous federal laws that protect American citizens from privacy breaches. These include the following commonly breached laws:

The Driver’s Privacy Protection Act (DPPA)

This law, the DPPA, protects the information you provide to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) — such as your birthday and address — from being shared without your permission. If a DMV office discloses your personal information without permission, you might have legal recourse.

The Electronic Funds Transfer Act

The Electronic Funds Transfer Act (EFTA) protects consumers who use financial institutions to make wire transfers and transactions with credit and cards. EFTA protects consumers from fraud and theft related to unauthorized withdrawals.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) offers consumers protection from the unlawful disclosures that can appear on their credit reports. Ultimately, the information contained on your credit report should be kept a secret and not disclosed to anyone without your giving approval.

If you suspect that your privacy rights have been breached, you may need to consult with a knowledgeable attorney who can determine if you’ve suffered from an unlawful violation of privacy. If your information has been wrongfully disclosed, you may have the option to pursue financial restitution and justice in the Minnesota civil courts.