Pisciottano, Mihalek: Bill would protect Pennsylvanians’ personal health information

Effort to prevent sensitive data loss related to COVID-19 vaccine registration

DRAVOSBURG, April 30 – State Reps. Nick Pisciottano, D-Allegheny, and Natalie Mihalek, R-Allegheny/Washington, plan to introduce legislation soon to require COVID-19 vaccine providers to take specific steps to protect the privacy of residents who have registered to receive a vaccine.

Pisciottano said in light of a recent data breach this week, where health and other personal information of more than 70,000 Pennsylvanians collected during contact tracing was compromised, it’s even more important that protections are immediately put in place.

“In the rush for many residents to get vaccines, many registered with several providers, providing their personal information in order to secure an appointment,” said Pisciottano. “While only one provider ends up vaccinating them, the other providers still have access to their information, which includes their name and address, but could also include their medical history, Social Security number and insurance information. Our legislation would require vaccine providers to delete this information from those who may have registered but did not receive a vaccine within six months of registering.”

“Medical history is the most private information a Pennsylvanian has, and it deserves to be treated sensitively,” said Mihalek. “In light of recent news that 70,000 residents’ medical information had been compromised due to contract tracing, I feel this legislation is more important than ever. People need to have trust in the companies caring for them and their information. And companies that are not caring for an individual have no use for their private medical history.”

Pisciottano added that the bill would allow an exemption for medical records that any existing law or regulation requires providers to maintain, and narrowly applies to personal health information collected during the COVID-19 vaccine appointment and registration process.

More information on the measure can be found at the following link: https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20210&cosponId=35534.