Privacy Protection

Protecting the Unemployed from Abusive Credit Inquiries

As the economic downturn progresses, American workers are facing a disturbing rise in employers using credit ratings to determine job worthiness.  According to a 2006 survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, the number of firms using credit histories to screen applicants rose from 25% in 1998 to 43% despite such inquiries often being discriminatory and even illegal. 

The Supreme Court and the States 2008-2009: Trend Defending State Authority Emerges this Term

Whether out of circumstance or an emerging trend, where state authority was at issue, this term the U.S. Supreme Court overwhelmingly deferred to state decision makers-- a significant reveral from last year. 

Policymakers Deal with RFID Security and Privacy Problems

The cards used by California legislators to gain access to the "secure" areas of their statehouses have one big problem: it's been demonstrated that third parties can easily read information off their electronic tags at a short distance and gain unauthorized access. 

Amid Court Challenges, Legislators Work to Protect Prescription Privacy

Despite ongoing court challenges, states are moving ahead to protect the privacy of physicians' drug prescribing-history. Most recently, the Washington State Senate passed SB 6241, which prohibits the sale or use, for marketing purposes, of data detailing which drugs a physician prescribes and how often -- a practice called data-mining. In 2006, New Hampshire became the first state to ban data-mining for marketing purposes.

Kansas Supreme Court Protects Patient Privacy in Abortion Case

The Kansas State Supreme Court temporarily blocked a grand jury investigating an abortion provider from collecting more than 2,000 patient records, including patients who didn't end up having an abortion.  The provider, Dr. Tiller, and his attorneys objected to the subpoena of patient records as a violation of women's constitutional rights.  The Center for Reproductive Rights also filed a petition on behalf of patients to stop the subpoena's. The Court, at least for now, agreed the subpoenas raised "significant issues" about patients' privacy.  A final decision will be made by February 25th.