PHILLY-ROOTS-L ArchivesArchiver > PHILLY-ROOTS > 2002-06 > 1025004180
From: Claire <>
Subject: Re: [PHILLY-ROOTS-L] who determines privacy rules on vitals?
Date: Tue, 25 Jun 2002 07:25:36 -0700
Jo Schwartz wrote:
> It's becoming obvious to me that there is a wide range of interpretation of
> privacy rules in the different states....
> Is this a state controlled decision or something at the local level?
As there is no federal privacy law (other than as pertains to federal
records), yes, it is a state law issue. Some states may write their
laws to give municipalities the ability to be more restrictive than the
state requires (i.e., the state sets minimum guidelines), but not all
do. There has been talk (and many bills introduced) at the federal
level for years re instituting a federal privacy law, but none have made
it all the way through the process; undoubtedly there will be one sooner
or later. Meanwhile, California is destined to set the most restrictive
privacy laws (specifically re access to vital records) in the country
when they institute the new law they've been talking about. Of course,
it all comes down to the training/knowledge of the people handling the
vital records requests--they may be more or less generous than their
state law requires, depending on how well-informed they are. Hope that