Ethics and Information Technology 17 (3):189-200 (2015)

Scientists and clinicians are starting to translate genomic discoveries from research labs to the clinical setting. In the process, big data genomic technologies are both a risk to individual privacy and a benefit to personalized medicine. There is an opportunity to address the social and ethical demands of various stakeholders and shape the adoption of diagnostic genome technologies. We discuss ethical and practical issues associated with the networking of genomics by comparing how the European Union and North America understand and practice notions of privacy and consent in research. An overview of international policy suggests the embedding of genomics within digital networks and the Internet creates conditions that challenge the management of privacy and consent in the age of big data. The risks of re-identification, informational harms, and data security vulnerabilities are issues that need to be better addressed in the clinical setting to reconcile the unpredictable pathway of research and practice in the networked information society.
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DOI 10.1007/s10676-015-9373-x
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