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Genomic cloud computing: legal and ethical points to consider

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Paul BurtonORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


© 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.The biggest challenge in twenty-first century data-intensive genomic science, is developing vast computer infrastructure and advanced software tools to perform comprehensive analyses of genomic data sets for biomedical research and clinical practice. Researchers are increasingly turning to cloud computing both as a solution to integrate data from genomics, systems biology and biomedical data mining and as an approach to analyze data to solve biomedical problems. Although cloud computing provides several benefits such as lower costs and greater efficiency, it also raises legal and ethical issues. In this article, we discuss three key 'points to consider' (data control; data security, confidentiality and transfer; and accountability) based on a preliminary review of several publicly available cloud service providers' Terms of Service. These 'points to consider' should be borne in mind by genomic research organizations when negotiating legal arrangements to store genomic data on a large commercial cloud service provider's servers. Diligent genomic cloud computing means leveraging security standards and evaluation processes as a means to protect data and entails many of the same good practices that researchers should always consider in securing their local infrastructure.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Dove ES, Joly Y, Tasse A-M, Knoppers BM, Brookes AJ, Burton P, Chisholm R, Fortier I, Goodwin P, Harris J, Hveem K, Kaye J, Kent A, Knoppers BM, Lindpaintner K, Little J, Riegman P, Ripatti S, Stolk R, Bobrow M, Cambon-Thomsen A, Dressler L, Kato K, Rodriguez LL, McPherson T, Nicolas P, Ouellette F, Romeo-Casabona C, Sarin R, Wallace S, Wiesner G, Wilson J, Zeps N, Simkevitz H, De Rienzo A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: European Journal of Human Genetics

Year: 2015

Volume: 23

Issue: 10

Pages: 1271-1278

Online publication date: 24/09/2014

Acceptance date: 19/08/2014

Date deposited: 27/02/2018

ISSN (print): 1018-4813

ISSN (electronic): 1476-5438

Publisher: Nature Publishing Group


DOI: 10.1038/ejhg.2014.196

PubMed id: 25248396


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