‘We have no plans’ to stop students from accessing medical information at school
Bloomberg News title Public schools should stop using a medical student information system to disseminate health information to students article The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois is suing the State of Illinois, alleging the State’s Medical Student Information System violates students’ First Amendment rights and the Illinois Public Access Act, the Illinois Attorney General’s Office announced on Tuesday.
“This is a direct violation of students’ right to free speech and expression,” Attorney General Richard Quinn said in a statement.
The lawsuit filed in federal court in Chicago claims the Illinois system is “a direct violation” of the First Amendment, the Attorney General said.
The Illinois Department of Public Health is also suing the state for its violation of the Public Access and Privacy Act, Quinn said.
Both state and federal lawsuits are scheduled for oral arguments on Thursday.
The suit, filed on behalf of students at the University of Illinois at Chicago and University of Chicago at Springfield, also names as defendants the Illinois State Board of Education, the State Board for Public Health and the State Department of Education.
The system uses students’ Social Security numbers, birth dates, and other information, as well as the medical student identification number, the suit says.
Students who are not enrolled in school at the time of the alleged violation may still access the system, but they must be enrolled in classes that are on campus.
A spokesman for the Illinois Department to Public Health did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The attorney general’s office has said it does not plan to pursue any legal action against the Illinois medical student system.
A state review of the medical school’s information system found “significant deficiencies” in how it handled medical student enrollment, according to a report from the Attorney Generals Office’s Office.
The report cited a “failure to provide sufficient safeguards” in the medical information system.
The Department of Health Services did not return a request seeking comment on the report.
The attorneys general office is representing a class of medical students at Illinois State University who filed a class action lawsuit last month against the school and its directors, officials, and directors of the state’s medical school, as part of their lawsuit to have their medical information and school records released to the public.
The students, who are seeking unspecified damages, are asking a judge to order the release of their medical records and the release by the Illinois Board of Medical Examiners of all student medical information, including their medical student identity number, birth date, and gender.
The complaint also seeks to have the Illinois Medical Student System and the Board of Directors of the Illinois Health Services Agency and the Department of Human Services, among others, held liable.
The legal actions come as the federal government is reviewing whether the State has violated the Freedom of Information Act by allowing students to access medical records through the medical system.
Earlier this month, the Department for Homeland Security sent a letter to the Illinois Secretary of State and Governor ordering them to release medical student records.
The federal department, which investigates national security and criminal matters, also said it would review the state medical student database, as it did in 2014 when it announced the creation of a database of information about medical students.