Various laws were put into place to protect patient privacy and also to ensure privacy of all accumulated health information that belongs to the patient. Some protection for genetic medical information privacy is offered by common law tort remedies. The common law right of privacy prevents public disclosure of private facts.
Among the latest legislation concerning protection of medical information is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). It was signed into law in 1996 under the United States Department of Health and Human Services. Healthcare providers nationwide were required to comply with the rules and regulations of privacy protection by April of 2003.