Health, genetic and other body information

Extracting information from the body was once limited to the field of medicine. However, today this type of data is increasingly being collected for a wide range of commercial, recreational and forensic purposes. Genetic results are used for ancestral research, fingerprints can replace passwords, facial or voice recognition software can identify individuals, and data about exercise and sleep patterns can be easily collected by wearable devices.

The information generated by our bodies is uniquely personal, and as such it can be highly sensitive. As more and more information about our bodies is collected and digitized, particularly by non-medical organizations and individuals, the impacts on privacy must be considered.

Explore the links on this page to learn more about privacy issues related to health, genetic and the body as information.

Who to contact with concerns about the protection of your personal health information

Find out which organization to contact if you have concerns about the privacy of your health information.

Data at Your Fingertips Biometrics and the Challenges to Privacy

Read information for the government and private sector about the privacy implications of biometrics and how to strengthen privacy safeguards for biometric systems.

Policy statement on the collection, use and disclosure of genetic test results

Read the OPC’s position regarding the collection, use and disclosure of genetic test results.

Privacy during a pandemic

Find information and guidance for private sector organizations and employees on making proper privacy decisions in a possible pandemic situation.

Research on health, genetic and other body information

Explore links to research about privacy and health, genetics, biometrics, and other information about the body conducted or funded by the OPC.

Privacy Emergency Kit

Find guidance to help organizations handle personal information appropriately in the event of an emergency.

Direct-to-consumer genetic testing and privacy

Learn about key privacy risks associated with these tests and questions to consider before purchasing.

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