What could someone do with your DNA data?
Nathan E Botts
/ Categories: Privacy, Security

What could someone do with your DNA data?

The Implications and Risks of Unauthorized DNA Data Access

As DNA testing becomes more commonplace, the information it reveals — from our ancestral roots to health predispositions — becomes a tantalizing target for malicious actors. Beyond the obvious concerns of identity theft and fraud, the article delves into more nuanced threats, including blackmail based on genetic secrets, potential discrimination from employers or insurers, and the unsettling prospects of biometric profiling. In an era where our genetic blueprint can be as revealing as our digital footprint, understanding these vulnerabilities is paramount for safeguarding our most personal data.

DNA data is highly personal, and its misuse can have implications across various domains. If someone has unauthorized access to your DNA data, here's what they could potentially do:

  1. Identity Theft and Fraud: While DNA isn't typically used for routine identification in the same way as a Social Security number or a passport ID might be, it is still personal data. In the future, as biometric security becomes more advanced, your genetic information could become a key part of your identity, increasing the risk of identity theft.
  2. Blackmail or Manipulation: If DNA reveals potentially embarrassing or compromising information, it could be used for blackmail. For instance, paternity information, susceptibility to certain diseases, or undisclosed ethnic origins could be leveraged against someone.
  3. Discrimination: Knowledge of genetic predispositions can be misused. For instance, health insurance companies might deny coverage or increase premiums based on the likelihood of you contracting a certain disease. Employers might discriminate based on perceived genetic "inferiorities."
  4. Family Secrets Revealed: DNA data can uncover family secrets, like undisclosed siblings, biological parentage, or ancestral backgrounds. This can have significant personal and social implications.
  5. Creation of Biometric Profile: In a dystopian scenario, governments or organizations could misuse DNA data to create detailed biometric profiles of individuals, monitoring or discriminating against them based on their genetic makeup.
  6. Cloning: While the technology for human cloning isn't fully developed or ethically accepted, theoretically, DNA data could be used in the future to attempt cloning.
  7. Criminal Misuse: There have been cases where DNA from one scene was planted at another to mislead investigations. With access to someone's genetic information, malicious entities could try to frame an individual.
  8. Personalized Scams: By knowing one's genetic predispositions or family history, scammers could craft highly personalized scams, tricking individuals into purchasing fake medications or treatments.
  9. Synthetic Identity Creation: Combining DNA data with other stolen data, malicious entities can craft an entirely new identity, leading to sophisticated fraud.
  10. Research Without Consent: Your DNA could be used in research without your knowledge or consent, violating personal rights and privacy.

It's essential to remember that while these scenarios outline potential misuses, many are hypothetical or represent extreme cases. However, they underscore the importance of maintaining the privacy and security of one's genetic information.

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How to Protect Your Privacy as More Apps Harvest Your Data

A New York Times Personal Tech series article by Brian X. Chen

Retrieved By Health eConsultation 0 14633 Article rating: 5.0

In this article written by Brian X. Chen from the New York Times he discusses some of the potential ways in which mobile apps that you download to your phone may be collecting and using your personal data in ways you did not know.

One of the key takeaways is that there are ways in which to protect yourself and tools that can help you figure out which apps are collecting your data and how to remove their ability to do so.

Stay Private: How to Hide Your Webcam, Mute Your Mic, and Turn Off Notifications

An article from Zapier

Nathan E Botts 0 14672 Article rating: 5.0

One consideration as you gather and store more personal health information on your computer and devices is making sure that you are not inadvertently sharing this information (or some other aspect of your personal health) through your webcam or mic.

This article from Zapier outlines several different ways and some handy applications that can help you control this on your PC or MAC.

Determining the Value of Compromising Your Privacy

An article from Engadget

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This article from the Engadget web magazine discusses how your online searching behaviors might be monitored by different companies that you are unaware about. This data is likely used to build profiles that may impact the advertisements you see, credit ratings received, and other potential social network aspects as of yet identified. 

Cybersecurity: Crash Course Computer Science #31

Retrieved By Health eConsultation 0 14260 Article rating: No rating

Cybersecurity: Crash Course Computer Science #31Cybersecurity is a set of techniques to protect the secrecy, integrity, and availability of computer systems and data against threats. In today’s episode, we’re going to unpack these three goals and talk through some strategies we use like passwords, biometrics, and access privileges to keep our information as secure, but also as accessible as possible. From massive Denial of Service, or DDos attacks, to malware and brute force password cracking there are a lot of ways for hackers to gain access to your data, so we’ll also discuss some strategies like creating strong passwords, and using 2-factor authentication, to keep your information safe. Check out Computerphile’s wonderful video on how to choose a password! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NjQ9b3pgIg Pre-order our limited edition Crash Course: Computer Science Floppy Disk Coasters here! https://store.dftba.com/products/computer-science-coasters Produced in collaboration with PBS Digital Studios: http://youtube.com/pbsdigitalstudios Want to know more about Carrie Anne? https://about.me/carrieannephilbin The Latest from PBS Digital Studios: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1mtdjDVOoOqJzeaJAV15Tq0tZ1vKj7ZV Want to find Crash Course elsewhere on the internet? Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/YouTubeCrash... Twitter - http://www.twitter.com/TheCrashCourse Tumblr - http://thecrashcourse.tumblr.com Support Crash Course on Patreon: http://patreon.com/crashcourse CC Kids: http://www.youtube.com/crashcoursekids


What is Health eDefense?

Health eDefense is the act of protecting your personal health information. This not only protects your privacy, security, and safety, but also protects the data of your family, friends, and others in your community.

The Health eDefense platform is dedicated to providing consumers with actionable information on how to protect their personal health information effectively from cyber threats. Health eDefense provides informational content and education related to cyber security, privacy and consent, security, and related topics and policies such as HIPAA and GDPR.

Cyber security is impacting our daily lives, and our personal and protected health information is a target for hackers and criminals looking to make money off of our personal data. Your personal health data will always be about your health, demographics, social, lifestyle, financial history, and other related details. Once taken, they cannot be taken back.

We think the best cybersecurity tool is education and awareness, and we hope to provide users with tools and insight to protect themselves and their data better.