Earlier today President Obama announced a new federal research program whose purpose is to enable doctors and scientists to, in the words of The New York Times, “develop drugs and treatments tailored to the characteristics of individual patients.” In order to do this, the program will be collecting genetic and other data on one million people. The Times explains:
“Federal officials described the project as a research consortium that would collect information from large numbers of people. The data could include medical records, laboratory test results, profiles of patients’ genes, and information about their diet, tobacco use, lifestyle and environment.”
In other words, a big, new federal database is going to have your medical records, lab reports, and information on things like your diet and lifestyle, plus your DNA.
But President Obama says we shouldn’t worry: “We’re going to make sure that protecting patient privacy is built into our efforts from day one.” Right. Just like the Obamacare website was going to work on day one.