Tag Archives: privacy

Any free DNA kits by 23andme? No, bioprospecting

The Atlantic knows

23andMe is best known for selling DNA test kits, but the company’s real value lies in the data of its 5 million customers. The bigger its genetic database, the more insights 23andMe can glean from DNA. That, in turn, means the more it can tell customers about their ancestry and health and the more valuable the data it shares with academic scientists and sells to pharmaceutical companies for research. About 80 percent of 23andMe customers choose to participate in such research.

Bioprospecting are

companies pressured by legal uncertainties and unrealistic expectations of benefit-sharing are exploring alternative technologies rather than using natural products for drug R&D

which is a bit different from a welcome framework for Africa

In human genomics, there has been a push to ensure that research on samples collected in developing countries — particularly in Africa — is anchored in local science and community engagement. One example of this is the Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa) initiative, which is funded by the US National Institutes of Health and the London-based Wellcome Trust. Since 2012, it has funded genomics projects whose principal investigators are African, with several of the projects being managed locally from Kenya’s capital, Nairobi.

Was ist sicher und was nicht

Chip.de berichtet, wie die NSA Verschlüsselungen einstuft

Als “trivial” gilt etwa die Verfolgung eines Dokuments im Internet. “Gering” wird der Aufwand bezeichnet, Facebook-Chats auszulesen, “mäßig” anstrengen muss sich die NSA, um E-Mails eines russischen Mail-Providers abzufangen.

Das anonyme Netzwerk Tor, die Festplatten-Verschlüsselung TrueCrypt bis Version 7.1a, die Chat-Verschlüsselung Off-the Record (OTR), die E-Mail-Verschlüsselung PGP (etwa in der Implementierung Gpg4win) sowie das Protokoll ZRTP, mit dem sich Chats und Telefonate verschlüsseln lassen (zum Einsatz kommt es etwa in RedPhone und Signal), können von der NSA offenbar nicht geknackt werden.

Ich habe doch nichts zu verbergen !???

Wie oft habe ich den Satz in den letzten Wochen schon gehört… und er wird durch die häufige Wiederholung nicht richtiger. Denn natürlich habe ich etwas zu verbergen, wie die meisten Menschen, ich bin sogar vom Staat zum Arztgeheimnis verpflichtet worden.
Hier kommt jedenfalls ein sehr detailliertes Video für alle “die nichts zu verbergen haben”.

Warning: Reply to all

Nature 486, 157 (14 June 2012) warns:

Scientists discussing their work through written media, including e-mail, should be aware that they could at any time be asked to reveal their conversations.”You are commanded to produce…any and all documents, data, and/or communications.” Towards the end of last year, those orders appeared in a subpoena that landed at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts.

so please write me private things only in a closed letter. Maybe it’s not such a problem Continue reading Warning: Reply to all

Anonymizing genetic data

I have currently a paper under submission at the EJHG that covers ethical issues of genetic testing. One of the key messages is that genetic data are not anonymous if having simply stripped of names.
A story in a completely different field confirms my fears. According to a NYT article

Last October, Netflix, the online movie rental service, announced that it would award $1 million to the first person or team who can devise a system that is 10 percent more accurate than the company’s current system for recommending movies that customers would like.

but things turned worse by an article of Narayanan und Shmatikov Continue reading Anonymizing genetic data

Some privacy…

Every click leaves many traces in the internet. To enjoy at least some privacy, I recommend to install the CookieCuller, that will destroy all cookies (except some protected cokkies) when closing your browser. A slightly higher level of privacy may be obtained by using TORPARK, that is now even available in a standalone USB stick version form www.torrify.com. Even by using TORPARK you are still identified by your network card – SMAC is the ultimate solution, yea, yea.



Science writes:

As you browse the Internet, many Web sites such as Google’s record a string of tex–the cookie–representing the identity of your computer. And when you use Google, its servers keep track not only of what you search for but also where you go next. People add new entries to this record at the rate of 200 million Web searches per day. This electronic record is key to Google’s business model: Most of its $1 billion annual revenue comes from Internet advertising targeted to individuals.

Another tip – disable also Flash super cookies in the online applet.