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Supreme Court Hears Data Mining Case

PRIVACY LAW—U.S.

April 26, 2011

The U.S. Supreme Court will today hear a case on whether the government may put limits on data mining, NPR reports. The court will determine whether a state can "bar the buying, selling and profiling of doctors' prescription records for use by pharmaceutical sales representatives." A Vermont law banned the practice until drug companies challenged it and won. Vermont's appeal to the Supreme Court claims doctors should have the right to control their prescribing data, while opponents claim that impeding drug reps' ability to make sales pitches violates free speech. If Vermont wins, the judgment could extend to other industries, says the state's assistant attorney general. Privacy experts say the case could have serious implications. 
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