I begin with a discussion of the value of privacy and what we lose without it. I then turn to the difficulties of preserving privacy for genetic information and other medical records in the face of advanced information technology. I suggest three alternative public policy approaches to the problem of protecting individual privacy and also preserving databases for genetic research: (1) governmental guidelines and centralized databases, (2) corporate self-regulation, and (3) my hybrid approach. None of these are unproblematic; I discuss strengths and drawbacks of each, emphasizing the importance of protecting the privacy of sensitive medical and genetic information as well as letting information technology flourish to aid patient care, public health and scientific research.
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