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Sunday, June 03, 2018

DNA Data Privacy Implications

Recent solution of crimes using cached DNA samples and analyses and storage brings up the security and privacy issues in giving away this 'data'. Especially as new analysis and ancestry linkage methods emerge.  This article is a good overview of the players and issues involved.

Ancestry wants your spit, your DNA and your trust. Should you give them all three?    By Stuart Leavenworth     sleavenworth@mcclatchydc.com

It markets its DNA kits with promises that tug at the heartstrings: Discover ancestors. Strengthen family ties. Understand your life.

Aided by venture capital and a flood of savvy marketing, Ancestry LLC has grown to become the world’s largest DNA testing conglomerate. Since 2012, it has lured more than 5 million people to spit into tubes and add their genetic code to the world’s largest private database of DNA. It has also banked away the world’s largest collection of human spittle, numbering in the hundreds of gallons.

In the age of Facebook and Google, consumers seem comfortable surrendering their personal information to corporations that aggregate it and monetize it. But Ancestry and other DNA testing companies have added an audacious tweak: Consumers are now paying to hand over their genetic code, their most sensitive individual identifier, to companies that could monetize it far into the future.... "

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