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Tag Archives: Privacy

U.S. Supreme Court wrestles with limits of privacy in the age of technology (access required)

In a case that had the justices questioning just how far the expectation of privacy extends in a world of ever-evolving technologies, the U.S. Supreme Court considered last week whether the police’s use of a warrantless GPS tracking device on a suspect’s car violated the Fourth Amendment. There is a chance that the justices could rule broadly on the issue. For example, the court could hold that the installation of the device did not even constitute a search, allowing the court to skip the expectation-of-privacy analysis altogether. But at oral arguments, the justices seemed to go the opposite route, considering in detail the implications of a world where information from high-tech devices could be used by the government to track individuals’ every move.

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Non-Lawyer to Lawyer: TSA body scan or pat-down? Yes, please

Of my immediate circle of friends, I was the only person who flew to see family over Thanksgiving. Being a frugal flyer, we left Raleigh on Thanksgiving Day. And during my layover in Houston, I happily responded to all of the text messages that people sent wishing me a happy Turkey Day. (I also felt immensely popular, which made up for the fact that my husband dragged me out of bed at 3:30 a.m. to catch the first flight of the day.) But of all of the warm wishes, my favorites came from the people who know my sense of humor best: "So, did you get the erotic pat-down?"

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New HIPAA rules create burdens for providers (access required)

Health-care entities can expect to keep busy in the coming year reviewing and revising their privacy notices and updating their contracts with related businesses in light of new proposed HIPAA rules. The rules spell out the HIPAA obligations that Congress included in the HITECH (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health) Act, which passed in February 2009. Most of the rules were expected, explaining how covered entities must update their privacy notices and detailing how penalties will be assessed for privacy breaches.

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