Medical Privacy

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Supreme Court Ruling a Blow to Genetic Privacy

Supreme Court Ruling a Blow to Genetic Privacy

By Michael Risher, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Northern California at 5:29pm
The Supreme Court's 5-4 decision upholding Maryland's arrestee DNA testing law is a serious blow to genetic privacy. The ruling allows the police to seize the DNA of innocent Americans who have never been convicted of any sort of crime, without a search warrant. And as Justice Scalia makes clear in his scathing dissent, the majority opinion goes against decades of precedent that makes it clear that the police cannot search an individual for evidence of a crime (and that's clearly what they are doing here) without a specific reason to think that the search will actually uncover some evidence.
High-Tech “Mind Readers” Are Latest Effort to Detect Lies

High-Tech “Mind Readers” Are Latest Effort to Detect Lies

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 11:41am

I recently wrote about how difficult it is to know which technologies on the horizon will turn into genuine privacy nightmares and which remain menacing but distant threats. One group of technologies that we’ve had our eyes on for a while are…

Crop of image by David Goehring via Flickr

Curious Cop Downloaded Hundreds of Private Prescription Records Because He Could

By Nathan Freed Wessler, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 2:40pm

Today, the ACLU and ACLU of Utah filed an amicus brief in support of a Utah paramedic whose Fourth Amendment rights were violated when police swept up his confidential prescription records in a dragnet search. Law enforcement’s disregard for…

ACLU Challenging DEA’s Access to Confidential Prescription Records Without a Warrant

ACLU Challenging DEA’s Access to Confidential Prescription Records Without a Warrant

By Nathan Freed Wessler, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 5:36pm

The Drug Enforcement Administration is trying to access private prescription records of patients in Oregon without a warrant, despite a state law forbidding it from doing so. The ACLU and its Oregon affiliate are challenging this practice in a new…

Senate Report Opens a Window Into Hidden World of Data Aggregators

Senate Report Opens a Window Into Hidden World of Data Aggregators

By Sandra Fulton, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:51pm

Today, the powerful Senate Commerce Committee issued a damning report on the invasive practices of the online data broker industry. The Committee’s report is the result of a year-long investigation targeting nine of the biggest data aggregators,…

The DEA Thinks You Have “No Constitutionally Protected Privacy Interest” in Your Confidential Prescription Records

The DEA Thinks You Have “No Constitutionally Protected Privacy Interest” in Your Confidential Prescription Records

By Nathan Freed Wessler, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 10:00am

The Drug Enforcement Administration thinks people have “no constitutionally protected privacy interest” in their confidential prescription records, according to a brief filed last month in federal court. That disconcerting statement comes in response…

Court Rules Feds Need Warrant to Access Drug Prescriptions Database

Court Rules Feds Need Warrant to Access Drug Prescriptions Database

By Nathan Freed Wessler, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 1:48pm

In a significant win for the privacy rights of anyone who has ever gotten a drug prescription, a federal judge in Oregon ruled yesterday that the DEA needs a warrant to search confidential prescription records.

Oregon, like 48 other states,…

Court Agrees to Consider ACLU Arguments That Fourth Amendment Requires Warrant For Access to Prescription Database

Court Agrees to Consider ACLU Arguments That Fourth Amendment Requires Warrant For Access to Prescription Database

By Nathan Freed Wessler, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 3:48pm

A federal judge has granted the ACLU’s motion to intervene in an Oregon case that raises the question of whether the Fourth Amendment allows Drug Enforcement Administration agents to obtain confidential prescription records without a judge’s prior…

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,…

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…

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