Friday, June 29, 2012

Letter Re "Genomics as a Final Frontier, or Just a Way Station," NY Times

The books reviewed by Dr. Zuger raise pro and cons regarding the growing influence of genomics in medicine. Perhaps a further unappreciated concern relates to issues regarding the private nature of our genetic and medical information: as more and more of us gather and digitize our genomic and medical data, we will likely see a societal shift in this remaining bastion of personal privacy. With many of us already sharing our most intimate and banal feelings on Facebook or Twitter, it is only time before we will also find online forums to share genetic data. But while it may be your prerogative to decide who should have access to view your genetic data, like that Facebook party photograph that also happens to have your "too sick to go to work today" colleague in the background, sharing genetic data will also inevitably disclose much of the genetic information of close family members who may still not feel comfortable sharing all.

Dov Greenbaum & Mark Gerstein

Unpublished letter to the Science Editor RE: Dr. Abigail Zuger's "Genomics as a Final Frontier, or Just a Way Station" (Health, 2/27/2012), NY Times