From Iceland — Drug Testing Ruled As Privacy Violation

Drug Testing Ruled As Privacy Violation

Published February 1, 2014

A ruling has been made in favour of a Icelandic man who charged Fljótsdals county with violating his privacy after he was asked to deliver a urine sample as a condition for receiving financial assistance.

It is uncertain whether or not Fljótsdals county and other counties in Eastern Iceland will be able to continue to deny financial assistance to substance abusers following the ruling, reports RÚV.

The rules of Fljótsdals county social services, which include areas like Fljótsdalshreppur, Seyðisfjörður, Borgarfjörður Eystri, Djúpavogur and Vopnafjörður, stipulate that they must deny financial assistance to alcohol and substance abusers. Instead the social services in these areas offer to cover the cost of rehab and a daily allowance while in treatment. The denial of financial assistance is meant to incentivise addicts to seek treatment. Once clean, applicants are free to receive financial assistance.

When the social services for counties with these regulations begin to suspect an applicant to be a substance abuser, it falls on the social services to prove and subsequently approve or deny financial assistance accordingly.

“The thought behind [this method] was to enable an opportunity to direct people towards recovery.” said Mayor of Fljótdal county Björn Ingimarsson. It remains unclear how these counties will deal with this regulation going forward.

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