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Hundreds of Participants Kick Off 2nd International Summit on the Future of Health Privacy

Patient Privacy Rights and Georgetown University Law Center's O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law Open Event in Washington

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jun 6, 2012 - More than 300 participants kicked off the 2nd International Summit on the Future of Health Privacy today in Washington, with another 400 people registered to watch the event live online. Sponsored by Patient Privacy Rights, the nation's leading health privacy watchdog, and Georgetown University Law Center's O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, the two-day Summit will explore the often-alarming privacy implications of the nation's race to digitize patient medical records.

“Doctors and healthcare companies are rushing to digitize patients' medical records, often without thinking of the privacy implications,” says Dr. Deborah Peel, founder of Patient Privacy Rights. “The Summit provides a venue for serious discussion of the urgent privacy issues raised by new technologies and laws.”

The keynote speaker at the Summit is Dr. Farzad Mostashari, the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Joining him at the Summit will be more than 40 health-privacy experts from around the globe, including leading CEOs, physicians and academics. They will discuss new policies including a Health Privacy Bill of Rights, data exchanges, secondary uses of health data and social media platforms that threaten patient privacy. In addition, the founder of Harvard's Data Privacy Lab will announce the launch of a yearlong project, the first of its kind, to map the hundreds of secret organizations and agencies where private medical data is sold and shared in the United States.

The Summit also will feature the stories of everyday patients who, like “Julie,” are victims of health-privacy infringement. Julie, a Boston-based lawyer, never imagined that the notes of sessions with her therapist would be digitized and made available to thousands of doctors and nurses—without her consent. “Personal details that took me years to disclose during therapy are being shared throughout my medical network, against my will,” Julie says. “It's destroyed my trust with my doctors.”

“Julie is an example of how major electronic health records systems can actually strip patients of their privacy rights,” says Dr. Peel. “Her tragic story highlights the need for the Privacy Summit—to shine light on these abuses and find solutions to protect patient privacy.”

Louis D. Brandeis Privacy Award:

To kick off the Summit, Patient Privacy Rights will honor the first-ever recipients of the Louis D. Brandeis Privacy Award. The privacy watchdog group will recognize Congressman Joe Barton (R-TX) and Congressman Ed Markey (D-MA) for their roles as leading congressional privacy advocates. And Alan Westin, Columbia University's Emeritus Professor of Public Law and Government, and Ross Anderson, the University of Cambridge's Professor in Security Engineering, will be honored for their groundbreaking work on consumer data privacy and security.

Summit organizers also will announce the “The Best Privacy Technologies of 2012,” and companies will demonstrate new products that enhance patient control of personal health data.



    The 2nd International Summit on the Future of Health Privacy


    June 6-7th, 2012


    Georgetown University Law Center
      600 New Jersey Avenue, NW. Hart Auditorium, McDonough Hall
      Washington, DC 20001

Posted: June 2012