US, Denise and Charles discussed on Chips with Everything

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Database. Privacy is slowly disappearing. And I think at some point, the future will be a concept that's quaint and old and. Lost. So Charles, thanks, technological advancements will eventually result in privacy being thing of the past, but can we really just blame technology? If anything hasn't the case of the Golden State killer shown that we can rely on human beings to willingly surrender that privacy in exchange for other information. Today we're talking about people who get DNA testing may before a genealogy website like ancestry, don't call them well, my heritage comb. Have you ever done anything like that? Like sent DNA to one of these websites to Tracy, Ron. ESTES I haven't do all the people who have Denise syndrome coat is professor of forensic genetics at King's College and has been researching forensic technology since nineteen ninety. I'm storm. Why people do it. It's really interesting to find your descendants and ancestors. I don't know how useful it is. It's a bit like astrology, really. It's not. It's not particularly useful, but people enjoy it. The problem for me is that the companies are revealing a large amount of information about a person's genetic background, which is private information potentially could be abused if it gets out anywhere else. Can I ask what you mean about it? Not being useful demean that finding out who your ancestors all isn't useful. G mean that the technology doesn't really work people engage with these for different reasons, and they may not have even really thought about the reasons, but it's quite often to find somebody in their family tree and the sites quite good at that in some areas. Quite good. Some people are interested in the ancestral background here. Do I have a vehicle Viking GM on that some team. Much nonsense. We all probably descended from people who were Vikings along time ago, whether that's visible in our jeans is just a matter of chance. And certainly if they go to different companies, they get different results which really just reflect. Not how likely they are to be descended from a particular population group. But really how come how like they are amongst the people who apparently living in those areas in their particular, the company's particular database. And that varies. They databases vary. So you said that the information differs across the databases. Does that mean that we could say that the results on entirely accurate? Don't entirely because they're just dependent home. The people who have contributed the DNA to that database. After the break Denise and I will talk more about what actually happens to our DNA once we spat into a tube and send it off in the post. I think I'm most concerned with the genetic information that we giving away. So if people are making inference about a particular trae that anybody has to me is a danger will be right back. Here at the guardian. We'd love putt costs. Not only do we make dozens of woodwinds selves, but we'll write about favorite per costs from around the world to every week. Call him here head that's hit of inhering and here comes out, filled with recommendations from you. On this nece we sift through all to find the hidden gems that the Polk costing world have to offer these precautions from small mighty productions, which probably wouldn't find highlighted on new usual pod catches. So if you're looking for your next cost or half one that you want to share with the world sign up for weekly, hey, head newsletter at the guardian dot com forward slash pot mail and send us an email podcasts at the guardian dot com. Welcome back to with everything. I'm Jordan. Erika Weber if all the bright, we spec Charles to Mosa who gave us a brief history lesson on forensic technology just depend on home the people. Then we tend to Denise syndrome court to find out more about these DNA testing kits. Can you explain anyone who hasn't tried this themselves? How these testing kits? Actually, while usually they come kit, which explains what you have to do. You have to depose a certain amount of saliva into into a tube, and then you put it in the posts and then get the results back online. Say, obviously the more people sign up for these websites, the more people sending in their day, the more this kind of DNA information is stored in huge databases. Somewhere researches of said that more than twelve million people have used these DNA testing kits. So there's a lot of information out there who has access to it and what could it be useful? We're on. I think you have to look very carefully that terms and conditions. But my understanding is that while the genetic information that they provide you, he's yours, Fe have been given you pay them to collect your DNA. Now I don't know what of the uses they might make about DNA potentially that information without material is very valuable to other people. I don't know whether they they might set it or how that actual material is dealt with after that is it destroyed is it kept is poss- to a third party. So in looking at a science terms and conditions are really important, and this discussion has obviously become more relevant with the recent arrest of the Golden State killer all the somebody's thought to be the Golden State Gila who was found by tracing his desk relatives to an undercover account on a dean yelling website, which was set up with a sample of his DNA. As the news came out, people have expressed concern about the privacy of all this kind of DNA data. They right to be worried will need to be formed on the difficulty is that in order to find your relatives, which is really why people go onto these websites, you'll. Very many TIs might of own might not have deposed to the DNA on different sites. So the difficulty comes, I think jet much have recently said, well, you can even destroy heels this information you can ask for it to be deleted. So that implies that, will you go along, you put your information on the site. You do your search and then you get rid of it. So benefits you and you making use of all these other people who haven't destroyed DNA, but it relies on people not destroying that information. What are the risks then if somebody else gets hold of your DNA information or even DNA profile Bill of links of others or suppose please could use it for good purposes or not. So good purposes. It's obviously if any, any sort of match or any inference made by the police results in them contacting somebody than that. To me is a pro because person they content his probably not involved in any crime, and they van having their privacy infringed. Und- lot of the information is information about our whole genome and some countries it will be. For example, in Germany wouldn't be spoiled to do this by the state because looking at somebody's genome is is legal, but not here Vermont regulations here. I mean, I can't see. It wouldn't be very useful if it was done here. These sites jet much very US based. And because of the size of the population there, the number of samples that have come from the United States own these databases and the relatively low proportion of the people who are on please database in comparison with with here where we have very few people proportionately. On these databases and lots of people on the police database. It wouldn't be very useful to be done here. And anyway, I think it would only be done in very particular, come senses Sayer now that people have side thinking about this kind of thing. And you've said, you know, people should read the terms and conditions of ac- but is there any chance that we would see wider regulation top down maybe from the government in the UK or in the US, and how would that even work? I'm so often these these novel innovations come upon his them. We start thinking of the implications. The implications might be substantial in different countries will do with in different ways. An in the United States, people are quite cavalier about testing of people's DNA, whereas in the United Kingdom, it's criminal offense for me to take account and test the DNA that was left on that car. P- unless it was authorized by the police. Y'all get prison for two years for doing that was completely different in the United States. They don't care and different countries. Different jurisdictions have different feelings about the ethics of of these matters. What do you think is consensus out of all this? I think I'm most concerned with the genetic information that we giving away. Generally, these are what we call single nuclear type polymorphism set are often have some sort of association with medical trays which we may know now or we may not know, but we may discover the future and these snips as we call them not necessarily determinant offer trae. They just Tiga long with it and in different areas of the world, they different ones tag along. So if people are making inference about a particular trae that anybody has that to me is a danger, say in the US, for example, with maybe be a risk that you know if your DNA suggests that you might have this disease than maybe healthcare would be more expensive. That's strong possibility. Yes, yet. The snips that have been associated may not in further disease tool? Yes. So so there's a risk for discrimination then? Yes, certain? Yes.

Coming up next