ACLU Reacts to Extortion of Private Medical Records

November 7, 2008 12:00 am

Media Contact
125 Broad Street
18th Floor
New York, NY 10004
United States

Demands Protection and Urges Caution When Moving Into the Digital World

CONTACT: (202) 675-2312;

WASHINGTON – In response to today’s news that the FBI is investigating an extortion letter threatening the release of millions of private medical records, the ACLU reiterates its demand for the protection of individual privacy for all electronic medical records. Express Scripts, a medical benefits management company, said it has been investigating the threat since October, when the extortion letter was received containing the names, dates of birth and social security numbers of approximately 75 clients. Express Scripts then notified the FBI, and has since ruled out the possibility of an internal breach.

The following can be attributed to Timothy Sparapani, ACLU Senior Legislative Counsel:

“As we consider the switch from paper to electronic health records, this most recent investigation begs us to protect our medical privacy from a whole new level of identity theft. To extortionists, our personal health secrets are a commodity like any other. The federal government needs to ensure that we won’t be left exposed and vulnerable if we go the Full Monty into the electronic world.”

# # #

Every month, you'll receive regular roundups of the most important civil rights and civil liberties developments. Remember: a well-informed citizenry is the best defense against tyranny.

Learn More About the Issues in This Press Release