US commission calls for protection of privacy in whole genome sequencing

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 16 October 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e6993
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. 1New York

Whole genome sequencing has enormous promise for improving health by gathering data from thousands of people and identifying mutations that cause disease, but privacy of individuals needs to be protected, a new report concludes.1

The report was produced by the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues, which held four public hearings and took information from 18 federal agencies about their systems for safeguarding genetic and whole genome sequence data. The commission, which is chaired by Amy Gutmann, president of the University of Pennsylvania, offered recommendations for ensuring privacy and security as the field of genomics advances.

While society …

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