This cartoon depicts something that happens far too often with HIPAA — HIPAA is used as an excuse not to do something (such as make disclosures or provide access to records in ways that patients request) even though HIPAA doesn’t have such a restriction. This is often done out of a lack of knowledge about HIPAA. Healthcare providers frequently have mistaken notions of HIPAA being far more restrictive than it actually is. For example, last year, I wrote a post about how numerous healthcare providers wrongly use HIPAA as an excuse to refuse to email medical records to patients. Ironically, instead of forbidding it, HIPAA actually requires that medical records be emailed to patients if patients so request.
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This cartoon is about evolution of data breaches, which began to grab headlines back in 2005, thanks in large part to California’s data breach notification law — the first of such laws. Since that time, every state has passed breach notification laws, and there are breach notification laws sprouting up around the world. Every day, we hear of more and more data breaches . . . and they are getting larger and larger.
This cartoon is about data subject access requests (DSARs) — sometimes called “subject access requests” (SARs). The GDPR Article 15 provides for DSARs. The new California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) provides individuals with a right to learn about the personal data collected and shared about them over the past 12 months.
For more background about DSARs, see this great guide to DSARs by WireWheel.
This privacy cartoon is about data minimization, a principle embodied in many privacy laws. Under the data minimization principle, organizations are to collect, process, or share only the minimum necessary personal data to achieve their purpose. There’s a lot of hat tipping to data minimization, but this principle is often not followed enough. Far too often, personal data is collected without any particular purpose in mind and far too much is shared than necessary.
For years, many policymakers, industry representatives, and commentators were opposed to a comprehensive federal privacy law. They typical federalism arguments were often trotted out. Then, in 2018, California passed the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). Now, there seems to be a chorus for a comprehensive federal privacy law with preemption. I’ll be posting soon about my thoughts on a federal law and on preemption.