Daily DashboardEuropean Data Protection Digest

DPC Investigates Blood Sample Bank

GENETIC PRIVACY—IRELAND

January 8, 2010

The Data Protection Commissioner has expressed shock about a Dublin hospital's database of infants' DNA, reports the Times Online. Commissioner Billy Hawkes is investigating the database, which contains the blood samples of almost every person born in Ireland since 1984, according to the report. The Children's University hospital stores the samples indefinitely, and has the genetic information of a million and a half in the database so far. The samples come from infant 'heel prick tests.' Parental consent is not sought before the tests are conducted. The hospital has, on four occasions, shared anonymized DNA data with university and hospital researchers.  
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