A great way to build a database of dna! To be used for
While I am not seriously thinking that this is some plot
to do this it reminds me a bit of the scheme that the authorities
use to round up people wanted on warrants by sending them
a message that they have won a vacation. Then they all show
up at the convention center to collect their winnings
and are arrested en masse saving time and trouble.
In a sense this is really (or I should say really I should say
"could be") an example of social engineering.
It's not required for a company, but if it doesn't exist then I think it's okay to assume that they are not following the highest ethical guidelines.
Back in 2010, the company "23 And Me" caused an uproar because they were gathering data without an IRB. They instead got a post-hoc review when, during a publication peer review, they were asked about the missing IRB. Their board said basically that since the data isn't traceable to an individual, it falls outside of the requirements for an IRB.
People are still pissed off about this. See http://scientopia.org/blogs/drugmonkey/2013/02/21/plos-genet... . I agree - the IRB exception must be done before the data is gathered, not afterwards.
What is to prevent someone from dumpster diving to collect dna?
While that dna is anonymous if anything interesting turns up in the dna it would be possible to trace it back to the owner with some certainty because if it was, say, at a restaurant you could (assuming the use of credit cards, security cameras) be tied to patrons of that restaurant or workers. And at that point you could triangulate enough to have a reason for further investigation and/or get warrants for things. Perhaps (ianal).
Taking this further how would something like that be viewed? I'm curious to what extent that would be viewed as unethical (in the US SCOTUS already has said you can pick through trash). So it appears to be legal.
In general? Nothing. The only prohibitions I know of are the ones I mentioned (related to scientific research), plus some prohibitions related to the use of DNA to affect insurance or employment.
I can't easily predict what the future might bring. Science fiction stories have postulated that a police officer might use some sort of sequencing device to vacuum a place to see who was there recently. To be countered by someone releasing dust/cells picked up from public transport seats.
My guess though is that it will be acceptable. Just like state camera surveillance is acceptable.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TiLX4bkKguA - video of several arrests using said premise.
Their entry at http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/scanadu-scout-the-first-me... says:
> As soon as we enter the clinical studies, the measurements relative to each study are collected to be part of the study data. This happens within the framework of a well defined Institutional Review Board - approved clinical protocol.
The page linked to by this HN post says "...to be a part of the first usability study and then clinical studies for the company’s road to FDA approval."
Since the page says they just wants saliva samples, not usability feedback, that means they are in stage 2 - a clinical study.
But I find nothing about their IRB on their web site or elsewhere.
2. Insert pet dog's slobber into test tube
3. $10 Amazon gift card
4. Maintain DNA anonymity
> Upon request, we will be happy to share your experimental results. It is understood that this is not an approved diagnostic test and results should not be used for medical diagnosis.