Government Protection Law

The government protection law is a set of laws to safeguard the rights and liberties of citizens against the whims and fancies of the state. This type of law includes privacy laws government protection law regarding data and civil rights laws. Equal protection laws and labor laws are further examples. These rights are protected by the Constitution and are enforced by the courts.

Privacy laws safeguard, for instance, the personal information of federal agencies. The Privacy Act establishes four procedural and substantive rights for individuals, such as the right to gain access to their own personal records from government agencies and to correct any information found to be in error; to control how their personal information is shared with other and to file a lawsuit against government agencies if they violate their rights. The Privacy Act’s “fair information practices” (FIPPs) are the basis of many other privacy laws, including the European Union Regulation 2016/679 on the Protection of Natural Persons with Regard to the Processing of Personal Data and the Free Movement of Such Data, or GDPR; the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act; the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996; and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act.

The FIPPs also form the basis for civil rights laws, which protect citizens’ rights to express their opinions and stop discrimination. To win a civil rights instance, a plaintiff must demonstrate that an official acted unfairly by treating them differently because of their protected characteristic. Based on the kind of discrimination the court will review the government’s actions using one of three methods that include strict scrutiny, intermediate scrutiny, and rational basis.