EPIC Files Amicus Brief on Risk of "Reidentification," Urges US Supreme Court to Uphold Vermont Privacy Law
EPIC has filed an amicus brief in Sorrell v. IMS Health, a case now before the US Supreme Court concerning a state privacy law that seeks to regulate datamining of prescription records for commercial purposes. Datamining companies have challenged the Vermont law, arguing that it violates the First Amendment and also that there is no privacy interest in the transfer of "deidentified" prescriber records. The EPIC brief, filed on behalf of 27 technical experts and legal scholars, as well as 9 consumer and privacy groups, argues that the privacy interest in safeguarding medical records is substantial and that the "deidentification" techniques adopted by data-mining firms do not protect patient privacy. EPIC's amicus brief for the lower appellate court was cited in the opinion of Judge Deborah Ann Livingston. As Judge Livingston explained, "neither appellants nor the majority advances any serious argument that the state does not have a legitimate and substantial interest in medical privacy . . . " For more information, see EPIC: IMS Health, Inc. v. Sorrell.