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…

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,…

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…

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…

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…

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,…

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…

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.

Giving Consumers Essential Transparency on Apps

Giving Consumers Essential Transparency on Apps

By Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:54am

Today the ACLU publicly supported a document that we believe will prove to be an important step forward in providing privacy transparency for mobile applications. After more than a year of negotiation among industry, trade associations and consumer…

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