ICELAND’S PROTECTION OF INDIVIDUALS WITH REGARD TO PROCESSING OF PERSONAL DATA

Iceland is committed to protecting individual privacy, and, to this end, has enacted comprehensive legislation to protect the individual right to privacy with regard to processing of personal data. Iceland enacted the Protection of Individuals Act to regulate the processing of personal data (the “Act”). Icelandic laws regarding data protection are in accord with European Union standards. The Icelandic Supreme Court further echoed the goals of this law when it issued a key ruling in 2003, which recognized the right of a daughter to prevent her deceased father’s medical records from being transferred to a genomics company for the purposes of medical research. Personal data protection, especially in the field of medical research, has been a hotly debated topic in Iceland in the last decade.

The following questions have been addressed in this article:

What was the ruling of Iceland’s Supreme Court with respect to the DeCode database?
What are the ramifications of the Supreme Court’s decision respecting DeCode’s project?
What are the main features of the Act with regard to the Processing of Personal Data?

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