The Protection of Genetic Information: An Analysis Focused on the Draft of the Protection of Personal Information

The Protection of Genetic Information: An Analysis Focused on the Draft of the Protection of Personal Information

 

Title
The Protection of Genetic Information: An Analysis Focused on the Draft of the Protection of Personal Information
Author
Wei-Hsin Lin
Keywords
gene, genetic information, protection of genetic information, genetic database, Draft of the Protection of Personal Information
Abstract
Genetic information is defined as the information that contains the hereditary
characteristics and the physical features of each individual. The establishment of
the Taiwan Biobank, a national program, has been merely introduced. Moreover,
concerning great interests, research institutes and various related organizations
have continued to make progress in the collection and establishment of a national
genetic database. Although the program has been halted at present, the protection
of the benefits of the genetic information of the Taiwan People still became a challenge.

In February 2005, a bill of amendment1
was passed, protecting the privacy of
personal information. In the document, “genetic information” has been classified as
personal in article 2(2), and the collection and usage of such are restricted by article
6. However, other than the above mentioned, it is difficult to differentiate genetic–protection-related
regulations from those regarding other personal data, such
as name, phone number, education, and occupation. This kind of arrangement in
the bill ignores the unique features of genetic information, therefore, results in an incomplete protection.
This article referred to several international regulations, including the Universal
Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights and the International
Declaration on Human Genetic Data. After thorough analysis and discretion, the
author argues that the regulations concerning the protection of genetic information
need to be fully developed. Besides proposing overall and detailed suggestions of
amendments, a specific law is required to improve the protection of genetic information.

Abstract Article

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