Emma Kaeser, J.D., is a staff attorney with the Network for Public Health Law’s Mid-States Region Office. She received her law degree from Stanford Law School, where she led Stanford’s health equity pro bono project. While in law school, Emma also worked with the Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality, researching and designing legal interventions to advance youth health equity. She has co-authored numerous publications in this area, focusing on drivers of health inequity in education and the criminal legal system. Before joining the Network, Emma served as a law clerk for the United States District Court for the Central District of California. Prior to that, she worked as a litigation associate at a law firm and had an active pro bono practice advocating for the rights of youth with disabilities through direct services and impact litigation. Emma holds a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University, where she studied public policy and international affairs, with a focus on maternal and child health policy.

Articles & Resources

Office of Civil Rights Provides Updated Guidance on HIPAA and the Use of Tracking Technologies

Law & Policy InsightsHealth Information and Data SharingPublic Health Information Management, Privacy and SecurityHealth Data Sharing and Privacy

April 18, 2024
by Emma Kaeser

On March 18, 2024, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a bulletin updating guidance on the use of online tracking technologies by HIPAA covered entities and their business associates. The bulletin, which updates OCR’s December 2022 guidance on the same topic, follows renewed warnings from OCR on the dangers of online tracking technologies and comes amidst increased attention to the privacy risks that these technologies pose

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­Texting to Promote Public Health: What Health Departments Should Know About the Telephone Consumer Protection Act

Fact SheetHealth Information and Data SharingEmergency ResponseMechanisms for Advancing Public HealthMechanisms for Advancing Health Equity

February 20, 2024
by Emma Kaeser

Text messaging can provide health departments with an efficient means of sharing timely public health information such as guidance, announcements, and emergency alerts. While texting can be an effective tool for protecting the public’s health, it raises important privacy issues that health departments must consider when developing texting initiatives. This fact sheet examines one piece of that legal framework: the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and regulations implemented by the Federal Communications Commission that govern certain kinds of texting.

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What is the Nondelegation Doctrine and Why Does it Matter to Public Health?

Law & Policy InsightsPublic Health AuthorityEmergency Legal Preparedness and Response

February 8, 2024
by Emma Kaeser

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic there has been an onslaught of legal challenges to public health authority, some of which cite a rule known as the nondelegation doctrine. The nondelegation doctrine purports to promote accountability by shifting power from unelected officials to legislatures. But in practice, limiting health officers’ authority can impede a health department’s ability to protect communities from harm.

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Legal Challenges to Dried Blood Spot Use in Michigan Highlight the Role of Informed Consent in Valuable Public Health Activities

Law & Policy InsightsMaternal and Child HealthMechanisms for Advancing Public Health

November 30, 2023
by Emma Kaeser

In the U.S., every state health department operates a newborn screening (NBS) program. NBS programs result in the early diagnosis of serious conditions in over 13,000 babies annually, making it a powerful public health intervention. As NBS requires the collection of personal information, it raises important considerations regarding individual privacy, autonomy, and ethical uses of data.

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HHS’s Newly Updated Security Risk Assessment Tool Helps Entities Better Protect Electronic Health Information

Law & Policy InsightsHealth Information and Data SharingHealth Data Sharing and Privacy

November 2, 2023
by Emma Kaeser

In September, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights and Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology announced the release of an updated Security Risk Assessment Tool. The tool is designed to make it easier for entities and business associates covered under HIPAA to understand and remediate risks to electronic health information.

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