Health / Pharma

Health data: some questions about profits, privacy and the public interest

31st Jan `14, 11:02 PM in Health / Pharma

It’s time for an informed public debate about the many questions raised by the commodification of “big data”…

BDMS
Guest Contributor
 

It’s time for an informed public debate about the many questions raised by the commodification of “big data” in health, according to Canberra Law School academics, Bruce Baer Arnold and Wendy Bonython.

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Who is taking care of your health data?

Bruce Baer Arnold and Wendy Bonython write:

Are the UK and Israeli health systems heading for a privacy trainwreck? Will Australian policymakers take us down the same track by selling bulk health data?

Data contained in health records can be benign, even trivial. However it can also be intimate, important and ineradicable.

Add in data from genetic sequencing activities, such as direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic testing, or whole genome sequencing, and combine it with similar information from other people, and it becomes a commercially valuable database, ripe for exploitation by biotech, pharmaceutical, and health insurance companies.

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