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Preventing the Data Protection Worst-Case Scenario: No DNA Tests on Employees and Jobseekers

Submitted by Aktive Arbeits… on Thu, 13.10.2016 - 22:25

‘Active Unemployed Austria’ start an online petition against the amendment of the genetic engineering law

(Vienna, 13th October, 2016) Almost insidiously the Health Department used a constitutional court verdict, initiated by insurance companies and which has generally prohibited the use of health data from DNA tests for insurance companies and employers, for the cause to provide for the use of the results of DNA tests also by employers in an amendment of the genetic engineering law, which has been sent out to assessment.

By it the prohibition of the ascertainment of health data by employers would not only be cancelled, but it would also open the way to further discrimination of jobseekers and employees. Due to the high number of jobseekers (500,000 approximately) and the low number of vacancies (50,000 approximately) employers can easily take advantage of the massive imbalance of power and force DNA tests on jobseekers and employees. So enterprises find new criteria for sorting out people who do not precisely conform to the ever higher norm. For those people who can hardly find a job, it will be even harder. Those who already have one run the danger of being discriminated against after a promotion or of losing their job on pretexts, that is their basis of their livelihood.

It is furthermore to be expected that this breach in the dam concerning the use of delicate health data fosters even further desires in other areas. In the long term women – as has already been prophetically depicted in the film GATTACA – will also be urged by society to give birth to children who genetically meet the requirements of the “labour MARKET”.

Labour unions and workers’ and employees’ professional association keep silent about the attacks on employees and consumers

It is all that strange that even the warning cry of the data protection agency, which even felt compelled to make a press release, went unheard and labour unions and workers’ and employees’ professional association don’t even protest vociferously. The workers’ and employees’ professional association at least made a statement on law – the Austrian federation of labour unions remains hidden – but has purely restricted itself to the ascertainment of delicate data by employers and completely forgets about the consumers, whose delicate health data will be hoarded by insurance companies beyond risk analysis.

Online petition against the data protection worst-case scenario has been started

For this reason ‘Active Unemployed Austria’ start an online petition against this data protection worst-case scenario and require health minister Sabine Oberhauser (Austrian Socialist Party - ASP) that, in translating the constitutional court’s verdict into action, the extension of the use of data from DNA tests be restricted to what is absolutely necessary. The workers’ and employees’ professional association and the Austrian federation of labour unions are required to finally take employees’ rights and human rights seriously and not to keep silent about their gradual weaking by ministers of the Austrian socialist party for reasons of party politics.

Active Unemployed Austria demand:

  • No weaking of the ban on ascertainment of data from DNA tests for employers! Extension of the ban of ascertainment of data from genetic tests to temporary employment services all other organisations/service companies which do not directly operate for a specific purpose and in conformity with data protection for the public health system!

  • Limitation of ascertainment of data for insurance companies: only diagnoses but not the rough data should be used for a specific purpose only for the risk analysis and are to be deleted after the completion of the analysis – after 8 weeks at the latest!

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