Study highlights the privacy risk of donating your genome

If you contribute your genome sequence anonymously to a scientific study, that data might still be linked back to you, according to a study published today in the journal Science. The researchers behind the study found they could deanonymize genomic data using only publicly available Internet information and some clever detective work.

The study points to rising issues concerning genetic privacy and the need for better legal protection against genetic discrimination, experts say, since such a technique could reveal a person’s propensity to a particular disease. The work also shows that study participants need to be better educated about the risks of joining genetic research efforts.

While the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 offers people some protection against employers or health insurers discriminating against them based on their genetics, life insurers and disability insurers are not prevented from using such information in their decisions.  

“We have no comprehensive genetic privacy law,” says Jeremy Gruber, a lawyer and president of the Council for Responsible Genetics. “People need to be much better informed of the lack of privacy protections we have for genetic information,” says Gruber. 

View the full article here: Study Highlights the Risk of Handing Over Your Genome

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Infographic: What are mRNA COVID-19 vaccines and how do they work?

Infographic: What are mRNA COVID-19 vaccines and how do they work?

As of 1 December 2020, thirteen vaccines have reached the final stage of testing: where they are being given to ...

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend