Medical Privacy

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In Court Today: Defending Medical Records from Warrantless Search

In Court Today: Defending Medical Records from Warrantless Search

By Nathan Freed Wessler, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 12:28pm
I will be in federal district court in Oregon today for oral argument in the ACLU’s challenge to the Drug Enforcement Administration’s practice of obtaining Oregon patients’ confidential prescription records without a warrant. We represent patients and a doctor whose prescriptions are tracked in the Oregon Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP), a state database intended as a public health tool to help doctors and pharmacists avoid and treat drug overdoses and abuse by their patients. Although Oregon law requires police to get a probable cause warrant from a judge before requesting PDMP records in an investigation, the DEA refuses, and instead uses administrative subpoenas to request the records. Unlike a warrant, those subpoenas involve neither prior approval of a judge nor a showing of probable cause.
Human Gene Patents Struck Down: Reactions from the Plaintiffs

Human Gene Patents Struck Down: Reactions from the Plaintiffs

By Sandra S. Park, Staff Attorney, ACLU Women's Rights Project at 4:18pm

For the last four years, I've had the honor of representing 20 amazing organizations and individuals in our challenge to human gene patents. They include: leading organizations of pathologists and geneticists; scientists, physicians, and genetic counselors…

The Road Ahead for Newtown Legislation

The Road Ahead for Newtown Legislation

By Alex Berger, Legislative Assistant, ACLU at 11:57am

At the beginning of the first Senate hearing on the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) instructed those in the hearing room to stand if they had been affected by gun violence. As nearly everyone in the packed hearing room,…

Are Patients About To Lose Control Over Their Medical Information?

Are Patients About To Lose Control Over Their Medical Information?

By Corinne Carey, Assistant Legislative Director, New York Civil Liberties Union at 8:30am

During the Super Bowl two years ago, a commercial aired featuring a doctor questioning his patient, a man in boxer shorts sitting on an exam table, about whether he’d been tested for cortical spreading depression. The patient begins to say he…

A Modest Proposal For Protecting Our Privacy

A Modest Proposal For Protecting Our Privacy

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 3:38pm

One of the biggest problems with protecting privacy in the United States is that, almost alone in the advanced-industrial world, we do not have an overarching privacy law that codifies the basic privacy principles that are accepted around the world…

Sniffing Out Privacy Issues That May Be In Our future

Sniffing Out Privacy Issues That May Be In Our future

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 4:55pm

MIT’s Technology Review has an article today on research that is underway to make extremely sensitive and rapid molecular sensors—aka “artificial noses”—that are so thin they could even be integrated into paper or textiles.

Filmmaker Joanna Rudnick on Life with the “Breast Cancer Gene” and Human Gene Patenting

Filmmaker Joanna Rudnick on Life with the “Breast Cancer Gene” and Human Gene Patenting

By Joanna Rudnick, Activist, Filmmaker at 1:19pm

In the Family (POV 2008) tells the first-person story of director Joanna Rudnick as she tries to decide on a course of action after testing positive for the BRCA1 mutation, the "breast cancer gene." To raise public awareness of the issues being presented…

Data Breach Raises Questions About NASA Policy At Issue in Recent Supreme Court Case

Data Breach Raises Questions About NASA Policy At Issue in Recent Supreme Court Case

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 4:35pm

We hate to say “I told you so.”

In 2010, the Supreme Court heard a case called NASA v. Nelson, which involved the government’s right to carry out highly intrusive background checks. NASA decided to require its employees—many…

Health Records Being Uploaded to Databases Without Patient Consent

Health Records Being Uploaded to Databases Without Patient Consent

By Corinne Carey, Assistant Legislative Director, New York Civil Liberties Union at 1:46pm

I just returned from the 2nd International Summit on the Future of Health Privacy in Washington, D.C. where the title of this year’s Summit was: “Is there an American Health Privacy Crisis?” The Summit brought together privacy experts,…

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