Groups Oppose Data Mining of Health Information by Financial Institutions

Groups Oppose Data Mining of Health Information by Financial Institutions

Privacy Rights Clearinghouse joins HPP, EPIC, and 27 Other Organizations to Send Letter to HHS Secretary Thompson Opposing Data Mining by Banks


Today, the Health Privacy Project (HPP), the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), and 28 other groups, including the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, sent a letter to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson, opposing any changes to the new medical privacy regulation that would give a green light to banks and other financial institutions to access sensitive, personal medical information. The organizations include health care advocacy, labor, consumer, disability rights, and health care provider groups.


In the letter, the groups state that the current medical privacy rule HIPAA prohibits financial institutions from accessing health information for data mining purposes. Nonetheless, we are aware that HHS is being heavily lobbied by some in the financial services industry to rollback this critical protection. HHS officials have stated that they may act soon on this issue. To read the full letter including the names of participating organizations and news articles about data mining by financial institutions,


For more information, please contact either Katharina Kopp, HPP's Program Manager (202 721-5614, or Janlori Goldman, HPP's Director (202 721-5632,, or Anna Slomovic at EPIC (202 483-1140,


To learn more about the federal medical privacy rule, read the PRC's publications on HIPAA.