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New Law Will Protect Virtual Addiction Recovery Privacy

king county metropolitan council logoThe King County Council on Tuesday unanimously approved legislation that makes it illegal in King County to hack into virtual addiction recovery and mental health meetings.

The proposed ordinance, sponsored by King County Council Vice Chair Reagan Dunn, aims to protect the privacy of individuals who are going through an addiction recovery or mental health program on a videoconference platform such as Zoom. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the vast majority of such meetings have shifted to these platforms.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic over a year ago, we have seen substance use and mental health disorders skyrocket as people suffer under increased isolation and stress,” Dunn said. “This new layer of protection will make it easier for folks to receive help online by allowing them to freely engage in virtual support groups without fear for their personal privacy.”

The ordinance would create the offense of obtaining information or disrupting video teleconferences of recovery, mental health, and behavioral health support groups without authorization and prescribe civil penalties.

Since the start of the pandemic, national data has shown a 13% increase in alcohol or controlled substance use, with 40% of people reporting depression, mental health, or substance use. The pandemic has also resulted in a shift to virtual meetings on videoconferencing platforms such as Zoom. With new proposed civil penalties, victims of virtual meeting hacks or disruptions will have due course to sue the perpetrator.

Find mental health and addiction resources.


The above is a press release from the King County Council.  The Auburn Examiner has not independently verified its contents and encourages our readers to personally verify any information they find may be overly biased or questionable. The publication of this press release does not indicate an endorsement of its content. 

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