Ponderance

(May 2003 - March 2007.) Tama's thoughts on the blogosphere, podcasting, popular culture, digital media and citizen journalism posted from a laptop computer somewhere in Perth's isolated, miniature, urban jungle ...

Western Australian Genetic Database & Privacy

Monday, September 12, 2005
As the Western Australian "Genome Project" or genetic database goes ahead, some serious privacy and security issues need to be addressed. Australian IT reports:
The WA Genome Project will build on the population records collected by the state over the past 30 years, and linked together through new database technology. It will include all births, deaths, hospitalisations and mental health service contacts, along with cancer and other disease registries. The implications are massive for individuals who might be identified and who could risk being discriminated against by organisations such as health insurers and employers.
While there are no doubt many important research uses for such a database, it's not that far from a genetic database to the ethical problems explored in GATTACA. As the article continues:
But while data may be "de-identified", Senator Stott Despoja says the there are problems, especially when talking about small communities. "We know from previous experience that de-identified does not always mean unidentifiable," she said. "Until we have genetic privacy laws in place, the issue of ownership and use of that information is questionable."
At a time in Australia when even the meaning of 'terrorist' can extended to peaceful protestors, iron-clad laws are required before biobanks become bureaucratic tools of persecution.

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2 Comments:

At 9/13/2005 11:09:00 am, Blogger r a n d o m p a n d a said...

hello. apparently you can do honours and go on exchange for a semester. tell me, is this true?

panda...melbourne...honours?

p.s http://www.animationpodcast.com/ thumbs up or down

 
At 9/13/2005 01:38:00 pm, Blogger Tama said...

I don't know anyone who has done Honours on exchange, but I can't imagine why it would be a huge problem. (If you do go, you should check out RMIT where Adrian Miles will be doing some cool stuff next year.)

Since your ComSt, your best bet is to check with Van Ikin or Chantal ...

Animation Podcast: seems okay, but a bit technical for my ears! :)

 

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