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Genomic sequencing generates huge volumes of data, which may be collected or donated to form large genomic databases. Such information can be stored for future use, either for the data donor themselves or by researchers to help improve our understanding of the genetic basis of disease. Creating datasets of this magnitude and diversity is only possible if patients, their families, and members of the public worldwide share their data. However, there is no consensus on the best technical approach to data sharing that also minimises risks to individuals and exploration of stakeholders' views on aspects of genomic data governance models-the ways genomic data is stored, managed, shared and used-has been minimal. To address this need, we conducted focus groups with 39 members of the Australian public exploring their views and preferences for different aspects of genomic data governance models. We found that consent and control were essential to participants, as they wanted the option to choose who had access to their data and for what purposes. Critically, participants wanted a trustworthy body to enforce regulation of data storage, sharing and usage. While participants recognised the importance of data accessibility, they also expressed a strong desire for data security. Finally, financial responsibility for data storage raised concerns for inequity as well as organisations and individuals using data in ethically contentious ways to generate profit. Our findings highlight some of the trade-offs that need to be considered in the development of genomic data governance systems.

Original publication




Journal article


Eur J Hum Genet

Publication Date