Who Needs Privacy? These Folks are Putting Their Genetic Makeup Online

Stephen Pinker, the prominent psychologist and author, is one of the volunteers in the Personal Genome Project, a study at Harvard University Medical School. [link]

The goal of the project, which hopes to expand to 100,000 participants, is to speed medical research by dispensing with the elaborate precautions traditionally taken to protect the privacy of human subjects….

In exchange for the decoding of their DNA, participants agree to make it available to all – along with photographs, their disease histories, allergies, medications, ethnic backgrounds and a trove of other traits, called phenotypes, from food preferences to television viewing habits….

"There are costs to keeping things secret," said Sergey Brin, the co-founder of Google. "There's a much better chance that you will learn something useful if you are not trying to hide it."

Double Helix

Comments (3)

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  1. Tom says:

    Good post. We’ve become overly concerned with privacy –to everyne’s detriment.

  2. […] Goodman reports on the Personal Genome Project.  Quoting a New York Times article, the provisions of the project […]

  3. Greg says:

    The egotistical mistake everyone makes is the belief that there are a lot of people out there who actually care what your DNA looks like. Other than scientists, the truth is: no one else cares.