Privacy Groups Urge Leaders To Ensure Safeguards For IT

Privacy and civil liberties advocates are urging lawmakers working on the forthcoming economic stimulus package to ensure that any language to spur adoption of electronic medical records includes meaningful security safeguards.

The American Civil Liberties Union, Consumer Action, the National Association of Social Workers, Patient Privacy Rights and others sent letters to House Speaker Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Reid and President-elect Obama Wednesday asking them to ensure individuals can control the use of their medical records and protect them from what they believe is a thriving industry of firms that share and sell medical data.

“We all want to innovate and improve health care, but without privacy our system will crash as any system with a persistent and chronic virus will,” Patient Privacy Rights executive director Ashley Katz said at a Capitol Hill briefing.

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