Privacy Blog

"Friends don’t let friends get spied on.' – Richard Stallman, President of the Free Software Foundation and longtime advocate of privacy in technology.

DNA

Chinese Scientists are Working on a Way to Create an Image of a Person’s Face from a Blood Sample

From an article by Chris Stanford in the New York Times: “It sounds like science fiction, but it isn’t. “Chinese scientists are working on a way to create an image of a person’s face from a genetic sample, using blood collected from ethnic Uighurs swept up in mass detentions in China’s Xinjiang region. “At least two Chinese researchers working on the technology have ties to institutions in Europe, and critics […]

Continue Reading →

U.S. Justice Department Sets Rules for Using Genealogy Sites to Solve Crimes

Investigators have used genealogy sites to solve a string of cold cases in recent years, but the US hasn’t really had a firm stance on how and when to use those sites. There’s now a basic framework in place, however. The U.S. Justice Department has established interim rules that determine how this forensic genetic genealogy can be used to tackle unsolved violent crimes. Officials portray it as striking a balance […]

Continue Reading →

As Made-To-Order DNA Gets Cheaper, Keeping It Out Of The Wrong Hands Gets Harder

Researching one’s DNA ancestry is a fascinating project. Studying your own DNA or the DNA of your close relatives can be life-saving. However, MODIFYING the DNA of anyone or anything is a very scary topic! Even though it sounds like science fiction, DNA modifications are already being done and undoubtedly this field of science is going to expand. Details may be found in an article by Nell Greenfield-Byce in the […]

Continue Reading →

Illinois Governor Signs Initiative to Protect Personal DNA Data

Illinois residents’ genetic testing results will now be protected under a new state law passed by state Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) and signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Friday. “As technology advances, we have to update our laws to reflect ways it can be improperly used, and the personal data of private citizens is being used inappropriately every day,” Crowe said. “Keeping genetic information confidential is crucial to protecting […]

Continue Reading →

Are You Unknowingly Forfeiting Your Genetic Privacy Rights?

From an article by Katherine M. Silverman, published in the Mondaq.com web site: “The issue of genetic privacy is getting a lot of attention in the media lately, mainly due to the role DNA has played in identifying suspects in prominent “cold cases” like that of the Golden State Killer. But use of these “genetic genealogy” tools has raised concerns from privacy advocates who fear that genetic information shared on […]

Continue Reading →

How 23andMe Will Mine its Giant DNA Database for Health and Wealth

Since the launch of DNA testing service 23andMe, around 10 million people have spit a half-teaspoon of saliva into a 23andMe plastic tube and mailed it in to get their ancestry or health-risk results. Nearly 5 million customers did so last year alone, generating an estimated $475 million in revenue for the company, which has yet to turn a profit. It’s also made CEO Anne Wojcicki (No. 33 on this […]

Continue Reading →

GEDmatch Implements Required Opt-In for Law Enforcement Matching and Privacy Issues

GEDmatch is an open data personal genomics database and genealogy website founded in 2010 by Curtis Rogers and John Olson. Its main purpose is to help “amateur and professional researchers and genealogists,” including adoptees searching for birth parents. However, it recently has also become “the de facto DNA and genealogy database for all of law enforcement,” according to The Atlantic’s Sarah Zhang. GEDmatch recently gained a lot of publicity after […]

Continue Reading →