Forecasts part 3 of 3 - by John Sumser - HRExaminer

As genetic information becomes clearer and more widely available, it's going to become an issue in employment law.

Five Links: Genetic Testing and Data

File this under emerging issues. As genetic information becomes clearer and more widely available, it’s going to become an issue in employment law. While there are regulations in place (see below), the data is voluminous, unwieldy and likely to be everywhere.

It defies common sense to think that someone with limited capabilities in an area should be hired for a job because the employer wasn’t allowed to know the genetic truth. This issue is coming on in a hurry. One Million Americans have been screened so far.

Genetic screening will become so inexpensive and so ubiquitous that we are bound to see astonishing lawsuits. Who owns the DNA you leave in your wake? Is just anyone allowed to test it? Do they need your permission to collect small samples of your DNA from under your desk?

  • 23andMe
    Led by Sergy Brin’s wife, 23andMe is the leading provider of commercial genetic testing. For $99, the will give you a comprehensive look at several hundred traits and potential disorders. It’s worth getting to know yourself a little better.
    To date, they’ve completed over 1,000,000 tests.
  • Quantified Self Genetics Archive
    If you’re not following the Quantified Self movement, you’re missing a key element in the evolution of data about and by human beings. This link takes you to their interesting archive of genetic related material.
  • DNA and genetic Privacy
    • Donated genetic data ‘privacy risk’
      Researchers have been able to identify people who have anonymously donated their DNA data. There’s not much privacy in genetic land. Here’s the Bloomberg version
    • California lawmaker proposes privacy protections for genetic data
      The California Genetic Information Privacy Act, SB 222, is in response to research that is expected to make genomic sequencing and testing affordable to the public and routinely used in medical care ..
    • NIH on Handling Genetic Privacy
      Count on the government to be on the job thinking about the long term storage (and associated privacy issues) of DNA material and Data
    • The EEOC on Genetic Information Discrimination
      Under Title II of GINA (the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act), it is illegal to discriminate against employees or applicants because of genetic information. Title II of GINA prohibits the use of genetic information in making employment decisions, restricts employers and other entities covered by Title II (employment agencies, labor organizations and joint labor-management training and apprenticeship programs – referred to as “covered entities”) from requesting, requiring or purchasing genetic information, and strictly limits the disclosure of genetic information.
    • Read My Genes: Genetic Screening in the Workplace
      A useful article about screening for known proclivities as a way of reducing occupational health related disability.
  • Visualization Spectrum
    Fantastic example of visual note-taking.”The panelists emphasized repeatedly that data visualization exists on a spectrum. On one side are the pieces that are purely aesthetic and emotional, and on the other, the focus is purely on conveying the insights found in the data. Tom Carden, a data visualization engineer at Square, asks himself if the goal is to grab attention for a new idea, or to build a tool that will be used on an ongoing basis: “Tools need to be actionable, auditable, and they have to stand up to scrutiny long-term.”
  • Mapping the Census
    The story of one person’s project to make UK Census data accessible. Imagine that the same thing will happen with all sorts of public data. HR and Workforce planners, pay attention.

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Genetic Testing

This stuff isn't going to be private for very long. If I can find my relatives using genetic information, then...

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