Health Privacy

About health privacy, World Privacy Forum key health privacy resources

The World Privacy Forum is extremely active in health privacy, with a long and successful track record of work in this area. We have done groundbreaking work in the area of medical identity theft, as well as substantive analysis and education on critical privacy aspects of health data such as medical research, genomics, and many other issues. 

Some of our most frequently accessed health privacy resources include:

* A Patient’s Guide to HIPAA

* Medical Identity Theft Page (resources, reports, more)

* Health privacy tagged materials 

* HIPAA tagged materials 

* Electronic Health Records tagged materials 

* Common Rule and Human Subject Research Protection tagged materials

* Genetic privacy tagged materials 

We have many more publications and resources. For a full list of topics and publications, see our key issues page.

See below for health privacy news and content by date.

HHS takes first-ever enforcement action under HIPAA’s right of access to health records

The Office of Civil Rights in the US Department of Health and Human Services has taken its first enforcement action under the HIPAA right of patient access to health records. HHS announced that it fined a health care provider $85,000 for failing to provide health care records to a patient upon written request, stating in

WPF responds to HHS and urges it to keep privacy protections in HIPAA strong

WPF has written to the US Department of Health and Human Services advising them on their Request for Information (RFI) about possible changes to HIPAA privacy and security protections. The RFI has a number of suggestions that, should they become part of a formal proposal, would significantly weaken HIPAA privacy protections.

2019 updates to Interactive Medical Data Breach Map

We have updated our medical data breach map to bring it current to January 2019. This interactive map displays the location of each medical data breach recorded at the US Department of Health and Human Services from 2009-2018. To get the most from the map, you can view breaches by year, by region, and in a simple text list. 

Did I just sign a permission slip that lets an in-school dental clinic extract my child’s teeth? Navigating student and school health privacy

A Baltimore mom was surprised and unhappy recently when her son came home from school missing three teeth. The source? A mobile dental clinic at a Baltimore city public school had extracted some of her son’s teeth that day. The mother didn’t realize it, but she had already consented to the dental work through signing a permission slip/release form.