Privacy, anonymity and subjectivity in genomic research

Ian McGonigle, Noam Shomron*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The use of non-anonymized human genome data is becoming increasingly popular in research. Here we review the proceedings of a special meeting on this topic that took place at European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) in December 2014. The main points discussed centered on how to achieve 'anonymity,' 'trust,' and 'protection of data' in relation to new genomic technologies and research. Following our report of this meeting, we also raise three further issues for future consideration: the harmonization of international law in relation to genetic data protection; the complex issues around the 'dividual' nature of genetic data; and the growing commercial value of personal data. In conclusion, we stress the importance of scientists working in the area of genomic research engaging in interdisciplinary collaborations with humanities and social science scholars and addressing these complicated issues.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2
JournalGenetical Research
StatePublished - 14 Jan 2016


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