Every day, millions of Americans have their medical information exchanged electronically between hospitals, doctors, insurance companies, employers, and marketing firms. While advances in information technology have the potential to improve health care delivery by reducing costs and increasing the efficiency of health transactions, they also have raised the potential for misuse of and unwarranted access to sensitive medical data distributed through the Internet.

Over the last decade, legislators have introduced a range of policies at the to safeguard genetic and medical privacy. A combination of the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and laws in twenty-nine states now provides indirect protection for the privacy of genetic information. However, the United States continues to lack a coherent approach to the appropriate handling and use of genetic data. This site provides a comprehensive review of legislation and court decisions in the area of genetic privacy.

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