Recommended reading: Genetic data

By EDRi · April 7, 2004

The Article 29 Data Protection Working Party has adopted a working document on genetic data. The technical progress which science has made over recent years in the field of genetic research has given rise to new data protection questions and concerns in relation to the significance and impact of genetic tests and the processing of genetic data.

The document states that any use of genetic data for purposes other than directly safeguarding the data subject’s health and pursuing scientific research should require national rules to be implemented, in accordance with the data protection principles. The application of these principles render the blanket implementation of mass genetic screening unlawful.

In addition, the ease with which genetic material can be obtained without the knowledge of the data subject and the relevant information can be subsequently extracted from such material, requires strict regulations in order to prevent the dangers related to new forms of identity theft.

Working Document on Genetic Data (17.03.2004)