Login     Sign Up     |      Home      Regions      Verify a Certification     EBA Portal    

Your DNA Privacy Could be Protected by Encryption Technology


Your DNA is among your most personal data available. It is a code containing your health information. Information about your individuality and genealogy can also be found in your DNA. With this delicate and sensitive information about you encoded in your DNA, you need to keep your DNA information as safe as possible. It would be a great disaster if out of carelessness you let this information leak out to imposters. Irrespective of this, the policies of individuals dealing with this sensitive information together with the programs they use are not sufficiently protected.
 
WhileStanford researchers say they’ve discovered a solution and a strategy that could prevent security leak and assist in fixing the shortfalls of the privacy protocols, this put you at a risk offensive exposure if you have ever done a DNA test. A recent scientific study has discovered a technique that can be used to prevent the occurrence of things like this. This technique is known as a “genome cloaking” technique. Genome cloaking is a procedure through which the human genomes are studied to check if they contain any gene that has a disease linked to it without letting the whole world have access to the genetic information of the individual. Through the process, the only genetic information that is associated with the information required is revealed.
 
The intention of genome cloaking is to reduce the concerns of people about genomic privacy breaches and genetic bias that spoil DNA testing. The researchers made use of the theory of cryptography to human biology and succeeded in finding out accurately gene mutations in a collection of participants. These gene mutations were taught to be the causative factor for four different uncommon diseases. It was also found to be the probable cause of a genetic disease in a baby when the baby’s DNA was compared to that of his parents.
 
The researchers as well found out who among the hundreds of patients used as participants had the gene mutations. During this research, the researchers were able to keep ninety-seven percent and more personal data of researchers entirely concealed from others. The information was only revealed to the rightful owners.
 
To achieve this, they asked all the participants to encrypt their genome with the use of a straightforward algorithm on their computer or smart phone. After the encryption, the data is transferred into the cloud. For the analysis, the researchers made use of a protected, safe and multi-party calculation to evaluate it. They only revealed the genetic data that are required in the research. Another great thing about this study is that they achieved all these results in a matter of minutes.
 
The Congress passed the Genetic Information and Nondiscrimination Act in 2008. However, there was ambiguity in the law. This problem with the law together with a lot of  Congressional actions constitutes a risk to wear away protections that previously exist. This makes people cautious of the cost of genetic testing. For example, the protection of GINA is not taken care of by life insurance policy, long-standing care, or disability insurance. What this means is that those companies can request for genetic data and refuse to take individuals they taught to be high risk. Some scientists have noted that fears of genetic bias could have a negative consequence on the health of individuals if they rebuff a test that could assist doctors to provide them with the better healthcare system. This too will affect the results of medical research if patients are scared of participating in studies.
 
Finally, the best way to go is to strike a balance. To find a strategy that makes it possible to provide our delicate and intimate information to scientists and doctors and at the same time ensures that our privacy is maintained.