Personal Privacy in an Information Society. Endnotes

07/12/1997

1. "Public assistance and social services" include, for the Commission's purposes, cash or in-kind benefits (including, for example, food coupons, medical services, day care, counseling, alcohol and drug abuse treatment, employment training and housing) subsidized by government funding and provided to individuals or families on the basis of financial need. The term does not include benefits provided under an insurance scheme, such as Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Benefits, Medicare, or Unemployment Insurance. This chapter, and the recommen-dations contained herein, do not apply to any public assistance and social services program that is federally administered (such as Supplemental Security Income) and thus subject to the Privacy Act 0f 1974. [Back To Text]

2. "Agencies" include, for the Commission's purposes, any public or private organization administering, supervising the administration of, or delivering services to individuals or families pursuant to, a public assistance or social services program. This definition would include, for example, private service organizations providing services to clients under Title XX of the Social Security Act. It does not include medical-care providers rendering medical assistance to Medicaid and Title XX recipients, except insofar as these institutions determine eligibility for the Medicaid and Title XX programs. Recommendations affecting the record-keeping practices of medical care providers are found in Chapter 7. [Back To Text]

3. "Welfare system" and "welfare," as used in this chapter, refer to the entire complex of public assistance and social services programs. [Back To Text]

4. The term "client" will be used throughout this chapter to refer to both applicants and recipients of the programs under discussion. [Back To Text]

5 41 Federal Register, pp.43724-27, (December 8, 1976). [Back To Text]

6 Prior to the March 1977 reorganization of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, administration of the AFDC program was supervised by the Assistance Payments Administration of the Social and Rehabilitation Service. [Back To Text]

7The Medical Services Administration of the Social and Rehabilitation Service, DREW, supervised Medicaid administration prior to the March 1977 DHEW reorganization. [Back To Text]

8Before the March 1977 reorganization of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, the administration of Title XX programs was overseen by the Public Services Administration in the Social and Rehabilitation Service. [Back To Text]

9A controversy arose when private providers under contract with State agencies to provide Title XX services objected to a requirement that they report individually identifiable client data to State agencies. The information was needed by State agencies to report to DHEW an "unduplicated count" of Title XX recipients. Some provider agencies, especially those providing legal assistance and mental health services, protested that compliance with such a reporting requirement would breach the confidentiality of their relationship with their clients, deter individuals from seeking needed services, and give the State agency the capability to construct a Title XX client "data bank" which could be used to the detriment of clients. Although this controversy reached crisis proportions in some States, it simply never became a significant issue in others. Although DHEW responded by making it possible for States to report an estimated, rather than actual, unduplicated count, some State agencies would like to continue to collect individually identifiable data for their own planning and evaluation purposes. [Back To Text]

10. See Chapter 10 for a discussion of the need for Federal sanctions that are proportionate to the seriousness of State non-compliance. [Back To Text]

11.Written statement of the Middlesex County, New Jersey, Welfare Board, Public Assistance and Social Services Record Keeping, Hearings before the Privacy Protection Study Commission, January 12, 1977, p. 12, (hereinafter cited as Public Assistance and Social Services Hearings). [Back To Text]

12. Prior to the enactment of Title XX, Federal funding for State administered social services was available under Titles IV, VI, X, XIV, and XVI of the Social Security Act. [Back To Text]

13.The agency would, of course, have to comply with the restrictions on disclosure of records imposed by agencies and organizations from which it seeks information for a law enforcement purpose including, in some cases, the production of a subpoena. [Back To Text]

14.Testimony, Public Assistance and Social Services Hearings, January 11, 1977, p. 597. [Back To Text]

15. Community Action for Legal Services, Inc., Manual for Welfare Advocates in New York, New York, 1976, p. 125. [Back To Text]

16.The Commission believes that if any fees for copying records are charged clients, they should not exceed the actual cost of copying, and further, that fees should be closely related to the ability of clients to pay them. [Back To Text]

17. Testimony, Public Assistance and Social Services Hearings, January 11, 1977, p. 764.[Back To Text]

18. As noted earlier, the recommendations in this chapter are not intended to apply to records maintained by medical-care providers rendering services to Medicaid and Title XX clients, except insofar as they are used to determine eligibility. Recommendations regarding client access to, and correction of, records maintained by medical-care providers are found in Chapter 7. [Back To Text]

19.See Chapter 7 for additional discussion of this problem. [Back To Text]

20.· Submission of Commissioner, Iowa Department of Social Services, Public Assistance and Social Services Hearings, January 11, 1977, p. 5. [Back To Text]

21.Section 2003(f) of the Social Security Act currently provides that "The provisions of Section 333 of the Comprehensive Alcohol and Alcoholism Prevention, Treatment, and Rehabilitation Act of 1970 [pertaining to the confidentiality of records] shall be applicable to services provided by any State pursuant to this title with respect to individuals suffering from drug addiction or alcoholism." [Back To Text]

22.The statutory requirements for confidentiality of drug and alcohol patient records are found at 42 U.S.C. 4582 and 21 U.S.C 1175. [Back To Text]

23. See Chapter 13 for a discussion of the suggested revisions. [Back To Text]

24. State of Michigan, Office of Standards and Investigation, Item CR-240, September S, 1976. [Back To Text]

25.Written statement, Federal Tax Return Confidentiality, Hearings before the Privacy Protection Study Commission, March 12, 1976, p.3. [Back To Text]

26.In testimony before the Commission, Office of Child Support Enforcement officials testified that, although the Federal Parent Locator Service may utilize all Federal sources of information, it currently relies primarily upon the Social Security Administration, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Department of Defense. [Back To Text]

27.See Chapter 14 for a further discussion of this topic. [Back To Text]