WPF Press Release
Contact: Pam Dixon, +1 760-712-4281
World Privacy Forum: California, Don't Weaken Californian's Health Privacy
July 21, 2012 San Diego, California -- Today the World
Privacy Forum filed comments on California's plan to harmonize existing
California state law to federal health privacy laws. California's health
privacy law, the CMIA, offers Californian's stronger privacy protections
than national level health privacy laws. WPF urges California to reconsider
its plan to weaken Californian's privacy. Executive director Pam Dixon
said "The harmonization plan coming out of California's Department
of Health and Human Services is not in harmony with California patients
and their health privacy."
WPF's comments, filed jointly with EFF, the ACLU, and others, found significant
problems in the proposal in terms of both the substance of what was said
and the procedure of how the proposal was crafted. The groups complained
that the proposal was crafted largely without public input and lacked
political legitimacy. In the comments, the groups also detail the lack
of explanation for why the weakening was necessary.
The overall impact of the proposal is not good news for California patients.
"If this harmonization proposal is turned into a piece of legislation,
which is the stated intent, the CMIA will be weakened, and that is a negative
outcome for Californians," said Dixon. The groups recommend that
the proposal be fully redrafted with much greater public participation
and more thought for negative privacy impacts.
The groups' joint comments are available on
the WPF web site.