办事指南

It's none of their business

点击量:   时间:2019-02-26 14:13:01

By Rachel Baird A WARNING from Britain’s data protection watchdog has forced insurance companies to drop their demand for access to genetic test results, even if they don’t use the information. Elizabeth France, Britain’s Data Protection Registrar, has told the Association of British Insurers (ABI) that its policy on genetic testing may breach the 1984 Data Protection Act. The ABI’s policy, announced in February, requires that people applying for life insurance reveal the results of any genetic tests they have had. Most insurance companies have pledged to ignore test results when they are disclosed by someone applying for life insurance of up to £100 000 linked to a new mortgage. “The problem with this is that under the act, personal data held for any purpose should be `adequate, relevant and not excessive’,” says David Smith, France’s deputy. “Insurers would therefore be in danger of breaching the act if they recorded on computer test results that they did not use.” This situation will not change when the European Union’s Data Protection Directive is implemented in October 1998. The ABI has said it will publish a new code of practice by January which will call on insurers not to ask for genetic test results unless they intend to use them. The ABI may have to make more changes to its code. The government’s Human Genetics Advisory Commission is now analysing the results of a consultation with insurers and others. It hopes to report to the government by the end of the year. In the US, President Bill Clinton has said he plans to make it illegal for insurance companies to use genetic tests to deny insurance or raise a person’s premiums. “Americans should never have to choose between saving their health insurance and taking a test that could save their lives,