John Mulaney, a former writer for Saturday Night Live and part of the exclusive 5-timers SNL host club, has a new stand-up comedy special on Netflix. Sadly, it is more like a public therapy session about his battle with drug addiction. John Mulaney calls his star-studded intervention a “We Are The World of alternative comedians over 40” because the same friends that helped him get to rehab happen to be famous comedians. (This is more proof that Harry Belafonte impacts future generations, because the star-studded We Are The World song was Harry Belafonte’s idea to gather legendary musicians to raise money for African famine relief.) John Mulaney’s story about how his impressively large stash of prescription drugs was taken away from him at rehab reminded us of the first-of-its-kind consumer health data law in Washington State. “My Health My Data” is a new law that basically forbids any company from sharing “consumer health data” with anyone without permission — and that includes the use or purchase of prescribed medication. Under the law, if John Mulaney were a citizen of Washington state or even just a consumer whose health information happened to be collected in Washington state, and he does not “opt-in” to permit the sharing of his prescription drug list, he can keep it private. And if it is not kept private, he can sue. This private right of action to sue for consumer data privacy violations is exactly what has kept Congress from passing a national data privacy law so far, but policymakers talked about it again this week (see here and here). As John Mulaney says in his latest comedy routine, he is only willing to tell us some stories about his substance abuse troubles — but he does talk about a horse that is loose in a hospital.
April 28, 2023 | 3 min read
April 28, 2023
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