Tracking the Vaccinated by Name, Race Challenges Privacy Laws
Healthcare Partner Shannon Hartsfield was quoted in Bloomberg Law about the privacy concerns being raised as a result of the federal government’s collection of personal information to track Americans getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Public health officials say they need the data to track where vaccinations are occurring and which communities are lagging. But sharing private information—including name, date of birth, gender, race and ethnicity, and home address of anyone inoculated—has encountered some pushback.
The historic nature of the pandemic and the need to control it underscores the importance of data sharing despite some privacy concerns, said Ms. Hartsfield. “If providers can’t provide information for public health purposes, it would be very difficult to get ahead of the next pandemic,” she said. “There are ways to share key data points that allow authorities to work to protect public health while still protecting privacy.”