More Than 50% of People Expect Compensation for Genomic Data Sharing –

Posted: March 13, 2020 at 2:49 pm

March 13, 2020 -Once people are aware of the issues surrounding genomic data sharing, collection, and security, individuals are more concerned with how their information will be used and expect to receive compensation for providing it, according to a survey published in PLOS One.

As the potential for personalized therapies continues to grow and genetic testing becomes more widely available, genomics entities have to find ways to advance the field while still protecting peoples genetic data.

The use of human genomic data collections is expanding, fueled by declining technological costs and enthusiasm for the promise of precision medicine, researchers said.

Accordingly, various organizations responsible for managing enormous genomic biobanks are developing and refining their governance systemsi.e., the organizational structures and policies that shape data collection, data integrity, data end uses, transparency, stakeholder input processes, and data securityseeking to balance the benefits of broad data use with the need to mitigate risk and meet societal responsibilities.

It's essential to measure the publics expectations surrounding the collection and use of genomic data, the research team stated. Prior research in this area has focused on the context of research biobanks owned by academic institutions, the group said, and has highlighted the idea that individuals providing their data are acting as altruistic donors.

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Findings in this context suggest that most participants, within the sole context of non-profit research biobanks, are generally willing to donate their data, are comfortable with indefinite use of their data, and are reassured by moderate privacy protections, the team said.

Yet the context of previous research presents an incomplete profile of public expectations for genetic database governance. We note that governance expectations for genetic databases in the future will be informed by two developing social phenomena: growing awareness of both the commercial value of genomic data and the emerging privacy risks for individuals providing data.

Researchers set out to assess individuals willingness to contribute genomic data to both nonprofit and for-profit organizations, as well as respondents views on genomic governance policies. The team provided 2,020 survey participants with a three-minute video created from mainstream coverage of genomic databases.

The group then asked participants questions about how governance policies or the ways genomic data is used, secured, and regulated would impact respondents willingness to provide data and the compensation they expect to receive.

The results showed that just 11.7 percent of respondents were willing to provide their data as an altruistic donation, while 50.6 percent said they would be willing to provide it if compensated with a payment of some amount. Nearly 38 percent said they were unwilling to provide it even if payment was available.

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The researchers noted that these results contrast with previous surveys that focused on donating genomic data to academic research biobanks, which consistently report rates of willingness above 50 percent.

When people were more informed, they were a lot more interested in requiring greater security for their data, and they were a little bit more hesitant to give it up, said Ifeoma Ajunwa, assistant professor of labor relations, law and history at Cornell University and co-author of the study.

The team also evaluated the dollar amounts that people were seeking in exchange for their data. The median reported value among individuals was $130, which mirrors the amount paid per genome in a recent commercial transaction summarized in the video shown to participants.

This finding suggests that the pre-survey video influenced perceptions and responses, reflecting what could happen as individuals encounter real-life information alerting them to the value of genetic data.

In addition to compensation, the survey asked participants how 12 specific policies would impact their willingness to provide genomic data. The three policies that made them most willing to provide it were the ability to request their data to be deleted; assurance that their data wouldnt be sold or shared; and requiring specific permissions to use the data.

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The three policies that decreased willingness the most were selling database access to pharmaceutical firms; providing data to the federal government; and retaining the data indefinitely without a specified date for destruction.

These results demonstrate the importance individuals place on control when it comes to data sharing.

A common denominator across these governance policy findings is a preference for restrictions on sharing or reuse, unless permission is specifically granted by the individual, researchers said.

These preferences appear to pose a challenge for the goals and business models of many database-owning organizations, which often envision that their databases will serve multiple, not-necessarily-specified scientific and commercial purposes, through access arrangements with multiple outside partners. This tension appears to hold equally for commercial as well as public organizations.

The group concluded that based on these findings, a one-size-fits-all approach wont meet public expectations for genomic data governance. Future research will need to continually evaluate evolving attitudes about genomic databases.

People need to know the full worth of their genetic data in order to make an informed consent, Ajunwa said. How much is the data worth, what kinds of safeguarding are necessary, is it OK to have something in digital form and therefore more vulnerable? There are all of these outstanding questions to be answered.

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More Than 50% of People Expect Compensation for Genomic Data Sharing -

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