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How to Identify Almost Anyone in a Consumer Gene Database (scientificamerican.com)
70 points by extraterra 62 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 7 comments



Largely unrelated but MPEG of mp3 fame has just released MPEG-G, a compressed file format for genomic data. Predictably, it's on track to be saddled with patents. Imagine needing proprietary software to view your own genomic data - or for your new doctor to not have the software to read it! Here's one take worth reading on it: http://datageekdom.blogspot.com/2018/09/mpeg-g-ugly.html?m=1

Also there's already a compressed data format called CRAM for this that has some traction and for which MPEG conveniently failed to compare itself to in their paper.


To be "fair", their latest revision of the paper includes some figures from a 4 year out of date version of CRAM, which is an improvement on the 10 year old outdated format they used initially. ;-)

Disclaimer, that's my blog and I'm the primary author of the newer version of CRAM.


I recommend anyone interested in genome exploits to watch this talk at DEFCON by John Sotos[1] about why you should be very hesitant in giving away your DNA.

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKQDSgBHPfY


I'd heard about that talk before but never watched it – scary stuff! Many thanks for sharing the URL.


See also previous discussion about this topic from 12 hours ago:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18195827 (60 comments)


>New techniques ... may soon make the anonymity of their customers’ DNA impossible to safeguard

I strongly disagree.

>He suggested it might be wise to encrypt genetic data to protect personal information.

Maybe we can encrypt DNA molecules themselves! Check out GeneInfoSec


>> New techniques ... may soon make the anonymity of their customers’ DNA impossible to safeguard

> I strongly disagree.

Can you please share why?




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