Daily Digest (5/7)

HIPPA Privacy Laws Bar Media From Data, US Health and Human Services Says; UK Information Chief Publishes Regulatory Approach for Its Work During and After COVID-19; Harrisburg University Says No Racial Bias in New Facial-Recognition Software to ID Criminals; Judges: Federal Courts Can Hear Cases Brought Under Ill. Biometric Law. Click “Continue Reading” Below.

HIPPA Privacy Laws Bar Media From Data, US Health and Human Services Says

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) advised health-care providers Wednesday that HIPAA privacy rules barred them from granting access to news media and film crews in situations where patient information could be obtained without their consent.

According to guidance from the agency’s Office of Civil Rights, providers must obtain a valid HIPAA authorization in advance from each patient whose information would be accessible to the media.

Masking or obscuring patients’ faces or identifying information before broadcasting a recording of a patient is insufficient, the document said, as a valid HIPAA authorization is still required before granting such access.

The guidance also describes reasonable safeguards that should be used to protect patient privacy whenever the media is granted access to facilities.

“The last thing hospital patients need to worry about during the COVID-19 crisis is a film crew walking around their bed shooting ‘B-roll,’” Roger Severino, OCR director, said in the announcement.

“Hospitals and health-care providers must get authorization from patients before giving the media access to their medical information; obscuring faces after the fact just doesn’t cut it.”

Source (external link):
OCR Issues Guidance on Covered Health Care Providers and Restrictions on Media Access to Protected Health Information about Individuals in Their Facilities

UK Information Chief Publishes Regulatory Approach for Its Work During and After COVID-19

U.K. Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said her office would serve as “an enabler and a protector” for citizens during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We must reflect the requirements and reality of those we regulate and engage on how data protection can enable innovation that can respond to the pandemic,” Denham said in Wednesday’s statement. “And the onus is on us to provide that expertise and input at pace.

“We must also protect people’s privacy,” she added. “We have always been clear of the importance of privacy protections, which are a part of modern life we must not lose.”

“And we must also protect people’s privacy,” Denham said. “We have always been clear of the importance of privacy protections, which are a part of modern life, we must not lose.”

Source (external link):
The ICO’s regulatory approach during the coronavirus public health emergency Background

Harrisburg University Says No Racial Bias in New Facial-Recognition Software to ID Criminals

Harrisburg University professors and a doctoral student said they have created facial-recognition software able to predict whether an individual is a criminal with 80% accuracy and no racial bias.

The software, reports CBS 21-TV in Harrisburg, Pa., uses only an image of a person’s face. Automated computer-facial recognition software can predict whether someone is likely to be a criminal, the report said.

The software can determine possible criminality with 80% accuracy and with no racial bias. The prediction is calculated solely based on a picture of their face.

The researchers were Ph.D student Jonathan W. Korn, NYPD veteran and Prof. Nathaniel J.S. Ashby, Prof. Roozbeh Sadeghian — and their research is entitled “A Deep Neural Network Model to Predict Criminality Using Image Processing.”

Source (external link):
Harrisburg University develops facial recognition software to ID criminals, no racial bias

Judges: Federal Courts Can Hear Cases Brought Under Ill. Biometric Law

A U.S. appellate court panel ruled that federal courts have jurisdiction over claims of Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act violations.

The three-judge panel ruled that failure to obtain consent for collecting and storing biometric data leads to an invasion of privacy rights and establishes standing in federal court, Reuters reports.

The unanimous decision by the judges of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago said that failing to make disclosures and obtain consent as required under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) leads to an invasion of privacy rights, which is enough to establish standing in federal court.

Source (external link):
Federal courts can hear cases brought under Illinois biometric law – 7th Circuit

— By DPN Staff