Prescription drug databases are available to police without warrants

WCPOThe prescriptions you have in your medicine cabinet might not be as private as you believe they are. Thirty-one states grant law enforcement warrantless access to databases containing drug histories, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is pushing hard to search records even in states that have privacy safeguards.

The disclosures to police agencies often take place without notifying the person targeted in a search and without offering a chance to object. That means no court ever approves the release of records that can reveal treatment for private medical conditions such as cancer, psychiatric disorders, HIV or gender reassignment.

I don't think anyone would be surprised that such records would be available with a warrant, but without a warrant surprised me. I suppose it shouldn't have, since we've had the War On Drugs shaping public policy ever since the puritans gave up on Prohibition, but it did. After all, something as innocuous as your video rental history is specifically protected under federal law and requires a warrant to access. Your prescription drug history is far more personal and revealing, yet it's available to police just for the asking?

This entry was published Mon Sep 26 09:56:52 CDT 2016 by TriggerFinger and last updated 2016-09-26 09:56:52.0. [Tweet]

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