A report from the AIM programme describes the participation of Commission representatives in the Council of Europe meeting on Data Protection in Strasbourg, 19-22 October 1993. AIM is the specific programme of research and technological development in the field of telematic systems in areas of general health care. The Council of Europe established a Working Party on Medical Data in 1989 to examine data protection problems in the field of medical information (including genetic data and information relating to contagious or incurable diseases). A "Draft Recommendation on the Protection of Medical Data", adopted by the Project Group, was submitted to the European Committee on Legal Cooperation (CDCJ). At the October meeting, the Council accepted that there is a need for appropriate safeguards in the collection and processing of medical data. A definition of such safeguards form the bulk of the Working Party's deliberations on this matter. In particular, these deliberations concern the requirement to inform the subject prior to data acquisition (securing their informed and express consent). In regard to the scope of the Recommendation, it was considered that the Member States must be responsible for extending its principles to cover medical data which is not processed automatically. The meeting also concluded that not all medical data was sensitive to the same degree and that Member States may therefore "decide not to apply certain principles to medical data which does not pose a specific threat to the respect for rights and fundamental freedoms".