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Tag Archives for " DNA "

China Uses DNA to Map Faces, With Help From the West

Beijing’s pursuit of control over a Muslim ethnic group pushes the rules of science and raises questions about consent.

The technology, which is also being developed in the United States and elsewhere, is in the early stages of development and can produce rough pictures good enough only to narrow a manhunt or perhaps eliminate suspects. But in the long term it may even be possible for the government to feed images produced from a DNA sample into the mass surveillance and facial recognition systems that it is building, tightening its grip on society by improving its ability to track dissidents and protesters as well as criminals.

Source: China Uses DNA to Map Faces, With Help From the West – The New York Times

DNA test kits threaten kids’ privacy in ways we can’t understand yet

You don’t have to be Orwell to understand that allowing a profit-driven company to analyze your genetic data comes with some scary privacy risks.

The only legislation directly concerning this data is called the Genetic Information Non-discrimination Act (also known as GINA), and it has been criticized by privacy experts for its narrow scope.

Privacy policy design can be an ambiguous business even with the best intentions, and I think it would be naive of a consumer to believe that DNA testing companies don’t have an incentive to leverage your data in ways that can’t be foreseen.

Source: How much of your privacy is at stake after using DNA test kits — Quartz

Inherently identifiable: Is it possible to anonymize health and genetic data?

Nearly 25 million people have taken an at-home DNA testing kit and shared that data with one of four ancestry and health databases.

With this proliferation of genetic testing and biometric data collection, there should be an increased scrutiny of the practices used to deidentify this data. Biometric data, namely genetic information and health records, is innately identifiable.

But can biometric data ever truly be anonymized, what are the methods of deidentification and best practices, and the current state of biometric data under the EU General Data Protection Regulation?

Full article: Inherently identifiable: Is it possible to anonymize health and genetic data?

The DNA database used to find the Golden State Killer is a national security leak waiting to happen

A private DNA ancestry database that’s been used by police to catch criminals is a security risk from which a nation-state could steal DNA data on a million Americans, according to security researchers.

Security flaws in the service, called GEDmatch, not only risk exposing people’s genetic health information but could let an adversary such as China or Russia create a powerful biometric database useful for identifying nearly any American from a DNA sample.

Source: The DNA database used to find the Golden State Killer is a national security leak waiting to happen – MIT Technology Review

New Privacy Fears About DNA Sleuthing

For the first time on record, the new forensic science of genetic genealogy has been used to identify a suspect in a case of violent assault. Cops in Utah had to obtain special permission to upload crime scene DNA to a website called GEDmatch, which had previously only allowed police to investigate homicides or rapes.

However, critics fear we’re on a slippery slope of genetic genealogy being used to investigate less serious crimes. “We’re right here on the precipice, sliding down,” one expert said.

Source: GEDmatch And Genetic Genealogy Helped Cops Charge A Utah Teen With Assault, Alarming Privacy Experts

Spotify Is Using DNA Tests to Curate Playlists

In a new collaboration with Ancestry, Spotify is giving its users the option to input their DNA results to their Spotify accounts to curate new playlists based on the geography of your ancestors. Spotify and Ancestry’s partnership seems like a foolproof way to have a completely unique playlist, but does the idea of DNA tests being used in music-streaming algorithms creep no one else out?

Source: Spotify Is Using DNA Tests to Curate Playlists, Which Is Pretty Creepy – Noisey

Genetics testing companies agree on rules to share data

Ancestry, 23andMe and other popular companies that offer genetic testing pledged on Tuesday to be upfront when they share users’ DNA data with researchers, hand it over to police or transfer it to other companies, a move aimed at addressing consumers’ mounting privacy concerns.

Source: Ancestry, 23andMe and others say they will follow these rules when giving DNA data to businesses or police – The Washington Post

DNA Tests on Separated Migrant Children Raise Privacy Issues

The Trump administration’s decision to use DNA testing to help reunite children separated from their parents at the Mexican border is sparking concerns among privacy advocates about how data will be used. Potential concerns include government surveillance of migrant families, or using the health information gleaned from DNA tests to deny access to services in the future. There are also concerns that DNA samples from children won’t be obtained with proper consent.

Source: DNA Tests on Separated Migrant Children Raise Privacy Issues – Bloomberg

Why a DNA data breach is much worse than a credit card leak

Why would hackers want DNA information specifically? And what are the implications of a big DNA breach? One simple reason is that hackers might want to sell DNA data back for ransom. Or hackers could threaten to revoke access or post the sensitive information online if not given money.  But there are reasons genetic data specifically could be lucrative.

“This data could be sold on the down-low or monetized to insurance companies. You can imagine the consequences: One day, I might apply for a long-term loan and get rejected because deep in the corporate system, there is data that I am very likely to get Alzheimer’s and die before I would repay the loan.”

Source: Why a DNA data breach is much worse than a credit card leak – The Verge

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