This paper will consider the current privacy laws as applied to healthcare in the UK, taking into account the UK Data Protection Act 1998, which implements the European Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC. Whilst the data protection laws in the UK deals with the overall protection of an individual’s personal information, there are certain issues that still need to be addressed by UK Courts including the subject of anonymous data; sensitive data; electronic patient records and genetic databases. To understand these issues, we will need to understand the context in which the UK data protection laws apply and the recent caselaw emerging from the UK courts and the European Court of Justice. Part II will consider the scope of the Data Protection Act 1998 followed by a discussion of “genetic data”. The discussion of “anonymous” and “pseudonymous” data is then considered before examining health records with final concluding remarks.
- data protection; medical information;