ICAN Sends Legal Demand to Michigan About its Illegal Privacy Violations Related to Vaccine Exemptions

ICAN’s attorneys demanded answers from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services concerning the state’s local health departments’ processing of nonmedical vaccine exemptions for school-aged children, which they are using to illegally track private and confidential information in the state’s vaccine tracking system.

On May 18, 2023, ICAN attorneys provided the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) with a detailed summary of why its processes regarding nonmedical exemptions exceed its authority and, consequently, violate the law.

ICAN’s attorneys point out that, in clear violation of privacy laws, MDHHS is permitting local health departments to store confidential information in the state’s vaccine registry. In addition, local health departments are permitted to create electronic health records for families who claim a nonmedical vaccine exemption, thereby capturing and storing private information that they are not entitled to collect.

To add insult to injury, the local health departments don’t disclose to parents that they are creating these records or inputting them into the state’s tracking system. Worse yet, if parents do figure it out, the local health departments are unlawfully refusing to let parents access their own family’s information.

The letter ultimately demands that MDHHS immediately take action to correct these issues.

On June 2, 2023, an attorney for MDHHS responded with the unsupported claim that its process was consistent with applicable law, stating that it did not “plan to immediately revise departmental practices” but it did agree to inquire with the local health departments to “assess consistency statewide.”

ICAN’s attorneys will continue monitoring this issue and proceed as necessary to hold MDHHS accountable. In the meantime, you can read the demand letter in full here.

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