When considering how the internet impacts the ways researchers deal with human subjects, several different considerations should always be taken into account. The first has to do with database privacy. For instance the human genome project has a database of names and identities associated with genetic coding that is completely open source. Of course these subjects have all agreed to have their genes mapped for scientific posterity, but what about those who wish to participate in the mapping project, but wish to keep their information private?
Well, this is a problem. Many people will probably opt out of human subject research for privacy concerns. As this type of information becomes available to the wider public, how can we insure that databases be used and disclosed ethically and responsibly? How will this impact the terms of health insurance and hiring practices?
Also, the chance of involuntary disclosure is likely to increase when internet technology comes into play. The whole question of internet research might challenge our notions of sample accuracy, as study subjects may increasingly draw from self-selecting technologically connected populations. On the other hand, internet research could decrease or eliminate the need for actual subjects altogether, as the potential for online simulation can be tapped into.
It's clear that the internet poses new ethical challenges, that the laws and regulations involving human subjects will have to catch up to as problems are addressed.