Genetic information is broadly defined under the law not only as personal genetic traits — such as having a gene associated with cancer, diabetes, or anything else — but also as family medical history. Health insurers and employers will no longer be allowed to include questions about the health of family members on mandatory applications or even to offer incentives to fill out voluntary questionnaires on the subject.
The purpose of the law is to protect employees and health insurance consumers from discrimination, as well as to encourage the development of “personalized medicine” based on a patient’s genetic profile. Many people, the law’s authors assume, will not consent to helpful genetic tests without assurance that the results will not be used against them.
GINA does not totally prohibit keeping track of genetic information, just collecting it intentionally.
More information may be found on the National Human Genome Research Institute web site at http://www.genome.gov/24519851 as well as on Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_Information_Nondiscrimination_Act.