Private investigators soon may take on a whole new identify. As we have all read your DNA can easily be picked up off a glass where you drank some water, a beverage at a bar and so on. We currently have GINA to protect us from companies using DNA information against us but what about other consumers? There are kits out there where you can send in to get information on paternity suits for example, a bunch of those on the web.
We have new technology emerging out there too with a “desktop” sequencing machine soon to arrive. As technology is rapidly evolving we need to give some thought to some of these areas. The Ion Torrent is available for sale or will be soon. As you can see, it sits on a desktop, just like a printer and is called the personal genome machine and does it’s work in about 2 hours. So what happens when an employee who has access decides to do a little work on their own? Could that occur?
Just think back to how calculators evolved with the use of a chip and you have the same thing going on here with semi conductors and the size of the device is getting smaller. What happens when a sample is collected? We all know of course this is not a good thing to do without the other person’s knowledge, but when did that every stop those who don’t care about the law? We all know the answer to that one. When you look at health insurance is this a new “black market” for adding extreme intelligence as we all know “data” is such a huge selling block today and right now even without any DNA information, our data makes huge profits for a lot of companies that are traded on Wall Street.
What happens when your DNA gets stolen and used illegally? We all know what a hassle it is with our personal information but what do you do about something like this? I think the machine is great and it is being used at a hospital in Massachusetts and it will move technology and research for treatment and disease perhaps a bit faster but there’s always the dark side we need to think about ahead of time. BD
The next big privacy battle may be over who has access to your DNA.
It is becoming surprisingly easy for someone to test your DNA without permission. Every drop of saliva you leave on a Styrofoam coffee cup or hair follicle that falls to the floor contains DNA that in theory can be tested for everything from ancestry to disease risk. In 2009 New Scientist writer Michael Reilly "hacked" a colleague's genome using samples from a water glass. He found labs willing to extract DNA from the glass and amplify it, producing enough DNA to send off to a direct-to-consumer genetic testing company.
Within weeks Reilly had results predicting his colleague was at risk for baldness, psoriasis and glaucoma.