The Kansas Senate has voted 26-14 in favor of a bill aimed at safeguarding the privacy of individuals who have been exposed to COVID-19, according to KFDI. The bill distinguishes COVID-19 from other contagious diseases and seeks to make the current contact-tracing rules, which were implemented by the Legislature and were set to expire on May 1, permanent. However, some public health organizations have expressed concerns about having different rules for specific diseases. The passage of this bill represents a significant step in establishing long-term guidelines for contact tracing in Kansas amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has recently assumed the role of President of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) for the 2017-18 term. Leading this influential association, comprised of 56 state and territorial attorneys general, Schmidt has chosen to focus his Presidential Initiative on safeguarding the elderly and other vulnerable populations. With a tenure as attorney general that began in January 2011, Schmidt brings a wealth of experience to his role. Prior to his current position, he served in the state legislature and provided counsel to the governor. Under Schmidt's guidance, Kansas has taken strong enforcement actions against companies that have failed to adequately protect the personally identifiable information of their customers and employees. Additionally, Schmidt has actively addressed the impact of privacy policies on consumer rights. This Q&A session with IAPP delves into Schmidt's priorities and initiatives in safeguarding vulnerable populations and upholding privacy rights in Kansas.
The ethics database hosted on the Kansas Secretary of State's website, which inadvertently displayed the last four digits of Social Security numbers belonging to state employees and elected officials, has been removed from public access, according to the Associated Press. The breach was initially reported by Gizmodo, which criticized the failure to redact the partial Social Security data, deeming it a "beyond reckless" oversight. Secretary of State Kris Kobach was promptly notified about the issue. While Kobach's office acknowledged the legal obligation to publish disclosure forms for government transparency, they agreed that the Social Security data should have been redacted. It's worth noting that Kobach was previously the vice chairman of the now-disbanded voter fraud commission.