Spokane Privacy Laws
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Privacy is one of our most basic and essential rights as people of society; this can be seen in the fourth amendment’s action against unreasonable search and seizure. However, as in recent years there have been many who have criticized the government as being unconstitutional in their invasion of private communications without a court order, or probable cause. Due to our modern position with electronic communication it is important to know our rights as citizens as it can be a difficult legal area to navigate.
Privacy laws fall under torts which are legal avenues that pertain to civil wrongs perpetrated against individuals, such as “invasion of privacy” laws:
- Interfering with an individual’s private life - Refers to any individual who invades another’s privacy through physical or electronic means without permission. With the rise of technological information this has become a more complex area due to electronic communication and records that can be accessed by unauthorized parties.
- The revealing of private information to the public – Someone with factual knowledge about another person’s private affairs cannot disclose it any public forum, which does include publication.
- “False Light” – This term refers more to the creation of misleading information rather than false information. While legal matters such as slander and libel deal with the defamation of someone’s character due to false information, false light deals with an individual’s private life being disturbed by the misleading of public information.
- The use of an individual’s information for personal gain - It is illegal for anyone to impersonate another individual for personal gain. It is everyone’s right to control their own image privately and within public perception.
Washington Privacy Law
While such privacy acts such as employee and medical records are protected nationwide, there are always state provisions to these laws and privacy laws in general. One of the most recognized privacy laws is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). HIPPA is a federally recognized standard of privacy for health related information. While it might seem pretty simple, third parties such as employers and insurance companies often request health information for their own records. In Washington, only the patient may pass on their health information to a third party. However, health care providers, public health authorities, and/or penal institution officials do not need permission to access your health records.
In addition, in Washington there are special provisions stating that law enforcement officials must obtain a warrant before using any form of wiretapping, which includes the reviewing an individual’s text messages.
If you believe your privacy has been breached without your permission it is important to contact a Spokane attorney immediately. With over 35 years of experience and the ability to fight for the justice you deserve through personalized client-focused values, you can rest assured you are in the best possible hands. We offer our clients free initial case reviews and we do not charge any fees until we win your case.