Data Privacy Day (Sen. Patrick Leahy)

Today, privacy advocates, industry leaders and government officials from across the nation and around the world celebrate Data Privacy Day – a day to raise awareness about data privacy practices and rights.  As the nation answers President Obama's call for an immediate investment in health information technology, Data Privacy Day is an important opportunity to remind all of us about the important work that the Congress must complete to protect Americans’ health privacy rights.

Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a critical hearing to examine the best practices for protecting Americans’ sensitive health information.  Without adequate safeguards to protect electronic health records, many Americans will simply not seek the medical treatment that they need for fear that their sensitive health information will be disclosed without their consent.  The Committee’s hearing was one of many steps that I plan to take in this Congress to help tackle the difficult but essential task of ensuring meaningful health information privacy for all Americans.  I salute the many leaders who are working to raise awareness about data privacy today and I urge the President, all Members of Congress and all Americans to join me in working on this pressing issue