Informational privacy and the public's health: The model state public health privacy act

L. O. Gostin, Jr Hodge, R. O. Valdiserri

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Protecting public health requires the acquisition, use, and storage of extensive health-related information about individuals. The electronic accumulation and exchange of personal data promises significant public health benefits but also threatens individual privacy; breaches of privacy can lead to individual discrimination in employment, insurance, and government programs. Individuals concerned about privacy invasions may avoid clinical or public health tests, treatments, or research. Although individual privacy protections are critical, comprehensive federal privacy protections do not adequately protect public health data, and existing state privacy laws are inconsistent and fragmented. The Model State Public Health Privacy Act provides strong privacy safeguards for public health data while preserving the ability of state and local public health departments to act for the common good.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1388-1392
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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