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Genetic data and the data protection regulation: Anonymity, multiple subjects, sensitivity and a prohibitionary logic regarding genetic data?

: Hallinan, D.; Friedewald, M.; Hert, P. de


Computer law & security review : CLSR 29 (2013), Nr.4, S.317-329
ISSN: 0267-3649
Fraunhofer ISI ()

Owing to the unique qualities of genetic data, there have been numerous criticisms of the current data protection framework's ability to protect genetic data. It has been suggested that the Directive did not recognise the sensitivity of genetic data and that it ignored a number of legitimate interests in this data (in particular interests which multiple data subjects may have and those which may remain in anonymous data). In 2012, the first results of a reform process of EU data protection law were released. These results included a draft Regulation (to replace the Directive) which introduced a new framework for the protection of genetic data. This Article considers whether the innovative approach to genetic data in the Regulation will provide a more adequate framework for the protection of genetic data. It concludes that the Regulation has rectified the lack of recognition of sensitivity, but still stutters in recognising a number of legitimate interests.