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

N.J. Lawmaker Wants to Make DNA Test Results Your Personal Property

A proposed law in New Jersey would make the results of a DNA test the sole property of the person tested, a bid to give consumers who use popular genetic testing services more control over their personal data and their privacy. Assemblyman Roy Freiman, D-Somerset, said that people have a right to know where their personal genetic data is going, even if it is used for good causes. “We don’t […]

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DNA Testing Kits: What Are the Privacy Risks?

Call me paranoid but I do believe that some people who have their DNA tested are not aware of all the privacy issues. Quoting from an article by Victoria Mcintosh, a Certified Information Privacy Technologist, as published in the CompariTech web site at http://bit.ly/3csasuC: “Since DNA is health information, many users may expect the data is protected by privacy legislation. HIPAA, for example, is the well-known health privacy legislation in […]

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A Court Tried To Force Ancestry.com To Open Up Its DNA Database To Police. The Company Said No.

From an article by Peter Aldhous in the BuzzFeed News web site: “Ancestry.com, the largest DNA testing company in the world, was served a search warrant to give police access to its database of some 16 million DNA profiles, but the company did not comply. “Ancestry received one request seeking access to Ancestry’s DNA database through a search warrant,” the company revealed in its 2019 transparency report released last week. […]

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23andMe Lays Off 100 Employees Because of both Recession Fears and Customers’ Privacy Concerns

According to an article by Christina Farr in the CNBC news web site at https://cnb.cx/30Piet9: 23andMe is laying off 100 people, or 14% of its staff, mostly from its operations team, as consumer DNA tests are down. CEO Anne Wojcicki didn’t have a clear explanation for that, but cited a variety of factors, including both recession fears and privacy concerns. Wojcicki said she anticipated that DNA testing would explode when […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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