Should You Submit Your DNA To A Database?

There are a variety of services that now make use of DNA sequencing; large databases of genetic material are therefore available. Some seem pretty innocuous, like the use of open-source genetic databases to aid people in their quest to know more about their ancestors.

Alleged serial killer Joseph James DeAngelo was caught because one of his relatives submitted their DNA to an open-source genetic database for researchers called GEDMatch, which law enforcement used to match to DNA left at one of the crime scenes.

It is, of course, a good thing that DeAngelo, the alleged “Golden State Killer,” was caught. But it should frighten you that police used an open-source genetic database to do it. As we’ve seen with so many other privacy overreaches, law enforcement uses questionable tactics on serial killers, child pornographers, and terrorists and later uses them on petty criminals.

The fact is, we don’t know how our genetic sequence will be used, who it will be accessed by, who will cross-reference it, or who it will be used to implicate now or many generations in the future. Even if you don’t plan to become a serial killer or even a petty criminal, it is likely a mistake to willingly hand over your DNA to people who promise to store it in a place where it is meant to be accessed. Unless you never leave your home you really can't "protect" your DNA, but you can still avoid paying someone to make you less safe.

There have been good movies and TV shows that highlight the use of DNA in questionable circumstances. For example, Black Mirror’s “USS Callister” told a story about a creepy man harvesting DNA from his coworkers’ coffee cups, napkins, and lollipops.

In the 1997 sf film Gattaca, compulsory participation in a DNA database enforces strict genetic standards. The film was directed and written by Andrew Niccol, and starred Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman and Jude Law.


(Employees provide a DNA sample upon entry)

In the film, the contents of this database determine who is allowed to fully participate in society. People who are brought into the world without genetic engineering form an underclass, whose very DNA denies them access.

See also these articles:

  - DNA Fingerprint Database For Workers Gattaca-Style Proposed
  - Gattaca-Style DNA Databank For 3 Million Americans
  - Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act Passed
  - Spartan DX Real-Time DNA Check
  - Eyedox Genetic Test To Exclude Color Blind
  - Boy Banned From School For Bad Genes
  - Court OK's DNA Collection Like 'Gattaca'
  - Kuwait Creates Mandatory DNA Database For Citizens
  - Is Genetic Testing At Businesses A Bad Idea?
Via Motherboard.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 4/18/2018)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Index of related articles:

Biometric security overview
Biometrics Glossary
Characteristics of successful biometric identification methods
Biometric identification systems
Biometric technology on the leading edge
Biometric identification - advantages
Biometric security and business ethics
Biometric authentication: what method works best?
Iris Recognition
Iris Scan

Related News Stories - (" Biology ")

DNA May Contain Malware
'You were told to embed the logical pathogen.' - A. Reynolds and S. Baxter, 2016.

GMO Houseplant Cleans Your Air
Removes compounds too small to be captured by a HEPA filter.

Oil from Algae - Can It Be Done?
'We dump everything that's waste into the tanks, pump the oil off the top.' - Hal Clement, 1950.

Amazing 'Hybrid' Solar-Powered Sea Slug Does Photosynthesis
Thank goodness for Star Trek.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

North Focals Smart Glasses Provide Augmented Reality In Style
'The world ... is drenched in unfamiliar information all the way to the horizon.'

Tesla Driver Caught Napping Behind The Wheel
'Mary Risling settled back for a little nap...'

Hayabusa 2 To Begin Asteroid Mining
'We must dig down, and then doubtless we shall find the metal.'

Ionocraft Drone Powered By Electrohydrodynamic Thrust
'He saw one hiss by him as he rounded the corner, trailing a short whip antenna...'

Purdue Pharma Ready To Profit From OxyContin Use Or Addiction Recovery
'It may be organic damage. It may be permanent. Time'll tell, and only after you are off Substance D for a long while.'

BloxVox Mutes Cellphone Convos
It's the polite thing to do, and has been the polite thing to do for about four generations.

Superfast Replicator: Volumetric Additive Manufacturing
I can't wait. Bring it on.

DNA May Contain Malware
'You were told to embed the logical pathogen.'

I Can't Resist Worm Robots
'Seen close it was not completely flexible...'

Rplate Digital License Plates Now Legal In Michigan
'Gragg's digital ink license plates ...'

Can Musk Starship Astronauts Use Magnetic Boots?
'Walking awkwardly in the magnetic boots that held him to the black mass of meteoric iron...'

Giant Dolphin Spotted On Jupiter!
'Now at last he could appreciate its real size and complexity...'

Musk's Starship An SF Fan's Dream Come True
Perfect for testing, perfect for fans!

TinyMobileRobots Are Sewer Sentinels
Every movie monster gets its start someplace.

Fishy Facial Recognition Now Possible
'Palenkis can identify random line patterns better than any other species in the universe.'

Spicy Tomatoes Created With Genetic Engineering
How about mashed potatoes and brown gravy?

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.