Public Comments

Public Comments: May 2007 – NIH….World Privacy Forum files public comments and recommendations on pharmacogenomics privacy: all patient-specific PGx research should require certificates of confidentiality

The World Privacy Forum believes that the capability of identifying individuals from subsets of genetic information will expand greatly in the future. In public comments filed with the National Institutes of Health on pharmacogenomics (PGx) research, or research using genetic information to create highly personalized medicine, the World Privacy Forum recommended that all research activities that involve any type of patient-specific genetic information be required to have certificates of confidentiality, whether that information appears identifiable or not. The WPF also urged the NIH to require strong data use agreements to protect individuals’ privacy. The WPF also urged NIH and the Department of Health and Human Services to reinstate the position of “privacy advocate” so as to provide oversight in this area. Read the comments (PDF). For more information, see the genetic section of the WPF Medical Privacy Page.

Public Comments: May 2007 – REAL ID …. Joint Comments …. World Privacy Forum and Electronic Frontier Foundation File Public Comments on REAL ID

The World Privacy Forum and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed joint comments with the Department of Homeland Security about the proposed national ID system, REAL ID. The comments discuss the substantial flaws in the proposed REAL ID system including concerns about the overall structure of the program, the cards, the databases attached to the cards, the lack of controls on “function creep,” the possibilities for discrimination, the potential for increased risk of identity theft, issues related to potential gaps in coverage for recipients on Federal programs, among other issues. Read the comments (PDF). See the EFF REAL ID pages for background about REAL ID.

Public Comments: March 2007 Commercial drivers’ license applicants requesting exemption from the diabetes standard have their personal medical information, name, age, and more published in the Federal Register; World Privacy Forum urges changes to the practice

The World Privacy Forum filed comments with the Department of Transportation today regarding the department’s publication of the detailed personal medical information of individuals subject to DOT regulations in the Federal Register along with their names, ages, and other identifying information. The WPF comments argue that personal medical information combined with name, age, etc. does not belong in the Federal Register, where it can have potentially far-reaching consequences for those individuals who are named as well as their family members.

Public Comments: February 2007 – WPF comments about the ethical, legal, and social implications of using genetic health care data in electronic health records

The World Privacy Forum filed public comments with the Department of Health and Human services in response to an HHS request for information regarding the use of patients’ genetic data for research, health care, and for use in electronic health records. The World Privacy Forum is requesting that HHS use all Fair Information Principles in any personalized health care projects, and is requesting that a formal ELSI (ethical, legal, and social implications) committee be set up to oversee any projects, among other requests.

Public Comments: January 2006 – President’s Identity Theft Task Force: World Privacy Forum requests that medical identity theft be added to task force agenda

The World Privacy Forum filed comments and recommendations with the President’s Identity Theft Task Force. The task force’s draft report and recommendations did not include or contemplate medical identity theft solutions for victims; the WPF has requested and recommended that this be corrected. Medical identity theft victims need more help, more recourse, and agency attention.