STAT

‘We are increasingly exposed’: New studies show how easy it is to identify people using genetic databases

Even if your genetic information isn't linked to your name and address, it might not be as anonymous as you think. Two new studies show just how easy it is…
A San Francisco Police Department wanted bulletin and copies of letters sent to the San Francisco Chronicle by a man who called himself Zodiac. Detectives in Northern California are trying to get a DNA profile on the Zodiac Killer to track him down using the same family-tree tracing technology investigators used in the Golden State Killer case. Source: Eric Risberg/AP

In recent months, consumer genealogy websites have unleashed a revolution in forensics, allowing law enforcement to use family trees to track down the notorious Golden State Killer in California and solve other cold cases across the country. But while the technique has put alleged killers behind bars, it has also raised questions about the implications for genetic privacy.

According to a pair of studies published Thursday, your genetic privacy may have already eroded even further than previously realized.

In an analysis , researchers used a database run by the genealogy company MyHeritage to look at the genetic

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from STAT

STAT4 min readSociety
Opinion: ICER’s Concern For Patients: Where’s The Beef?
ICER describes itself as the "nation's drug pricing watchdog." If it truly wants to be that, it needs to include the people who use health care in its assessments.
STAT4 min read
Opinion: Time In Range: A New Way For People With Diabetes To Monitor Blood Sugar
We've come a long way in the ability to measure blood sugar, from boiling urine with Benedict's solution to effort-free checks every few minutes with a continuous glucose monitor.
STAT3 min read
Not Only Who But What: NIH Funding Disparity Between Black And White Scientists Partly Driven By Research Topic
Not only who but what: NIH funding disparity between black and white scientists partly driven by research topic.