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Debate Lacking in Nascent DNA Collection

GENETIC PRIVACY

July 16, 2013

The Associated Press reports on the flourishing collection of DNA by governments around the world and the lack of public debate about the privacy and ethical issues raised by such collection. Yaniv Erlich of MIT’s Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research said there is a lot of upside to having DNA databases, but said, “our work shows there are privacy limitations.” Others have warned of “mission creep” where law enforcement use DNA to gather data on racial origins, medical history and psychological profiles. A University of Baltimore forensics professor said, “There’s got to be a debate… Do we want to have a society where 5 percent of the crime is unsolved, or do we want to have a society where 100 percent of the crime is solved" but privacy goes extinct? "What's the trade-off?"
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