Privacy Implications for Biotechnology

New Jersey Lawyer August 2017

Patricia M. Wagner, Chief Privacy Officer and Member of the Firm in the Health Care and Life Sciences and Litigation practices, in the firm’s Washington, DC, office, authored an article in New Jersey Lawyer, titled “Privacy Implications for Biotechnology.”

Following is an excerpt (see above to download the full article in PDF format):

As biotechnology companies continue to grow and develop new business models, including models that have more direct interaction with consumers, there are a number of privacy-related laws and regulations of which the companies should be aware. Different products can trigger different requirements. This article provides an overview of the privacy and security framework in the United States. Ultimately, the concern of state and federal regulators is that individuals’ privacy rights are protected, and that individuals have fair and adequate notice of how their information will be used, stored and disclosed. The discussion below provides a high-level description of the various privacy regimes. ...

Biotechnology companies can mitigate the risk of privacy concerns by including privacy in the initial design of products and consumer outreach. During the development process, companies should take steps to understand how the technology will work in the consumer space or healthcare space, as well as what information the company will want to collect from consumers, and attempt to understand how that may change in the future. Similarly, companies should ensure that any website or app privacy statement accurately reflects how the company will collect information, what it will do with information, who else will have access to the information, and how it will take steps to ensure the information is secured. A company should also periodically review its privacy statement to ensure it has been modified as data collection and/or usage changes.