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Miller Bill Aims to Protect Veterans Privacy

Apr 11, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Today, Chairman Jeff Miller (FL-01) introduced the Veterans’ Privacy Act, which would require the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to obtain the personal consent of patients before installing cameras in any VA medical center treatment rooms.

The bill comes in response to findings last year that officials at the James A. Haley VA Medical Center in Tampa, Fla., installed a concealed camera in a patient’s room without his or his family’s consent.

“This type of behavior is as bizarre as it is outrageous. To think that some VA employees actually thought it a good idea to covertly record a patient with a video camera disguised as a smoke detector really just boggles the mind. What’s worse is that when we questioned VA regarding the legality of these actions, department officials contended they had done nothing wrong. The Veterans Privacy Act will keep covert, Big Brother tactics out of VA medical centers and protect the sacred trust that should exist between VA and veteran patients and their families,” Miller said.

A VA Office of Inspector General review of the Haley incident  released today found that use of the camera was “reasonable.”