Loading...
No BYH to those who have been slamming the US mail, which will presently deliver a document to Alaska or Hawaii for .50...

Update genetic testing rules

Loading…

Friday, September 7, 2018

The search for the so-called Golden State Killer had hit a dead end when investigators decided to test DNA evidence from a crime scene against genetic data on GEDmatch, a website of volunteered samples. Eventually, this technique helped investigators close one of the most notorious cold cases in recent history — but it also raised important questions about the privacy rights of customers.

How and when should genetic testing companies share data with third parties such as researchers, websites or law enforcement officials? And do companies have an obligation to inform users that their information has been shared?

These concerns were heard in the genetic-testing industry. A number of popular companies, including Ancestry and 23andMe, recently committed to a new set of best practicesgoverning how and when they would collect, use and share customers' DNA. Among these guidelines are promises that the firms would obtain "separate express consent" from users before sharing their genetic information, use robust information security and publicly disclose the number of law enforcement requests received at least annually.

Though the guidelines do not cover the aggregated data often used in medical research, they apply to riskier forms of genetic data-sharing: that of individual-level, identifiable information. Critics fear that, in the wrong hands, this data could be used to discriminate based on disease risk or medical conditions; reveal information about an entire family, including someone's future children; and even prove infidelity and parentage without a person's consent.

With these risks in mind, the new commitments are an important step toward transparency and security in an industry that has faced little oversight. But voluntary commitments from a handful of companies can only do so much, with at least 90 genetic testing providers operating in the United States. The Federal Trade Commission can penalize companies that fail to follow through on promises to consumers, but its broader authority to police the field is limited.

Congress should step in. Genetic-testing technology is progressing rapidly. The rules need to keep up. Even as companies strengthen their privacy policies, lawmakers should consider creating baseline security standards and disclosure requirements to ensure that consumers understand the risks and how their data can be used.

Loading…

Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

Op Ed

September 23, 2018

Christine Blasey Ford has accused Brett M. Kavanaugh of attempted rape while they were both in high school — a charge he unequivocally denies. She can't remember the date the alleged attack took place. She isn't even certain about the year (although she reportedly thinks it may have been the…

MarcThiessen

September 22, 2018

Here is America at its best: Faith-based organizations across the country are volunteering to help resettle refugee families in their communities. In the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C. where we live, Christian, Jewish and Muslim congregations have formed a partnership called Neighbors to…

Steve and Cokie Roberts

September 22, 2018

Bloomberg Opinion

President Donald Trump's planned nomination of Nellie Liang to the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors, which oversees everything from interest-rate policy to financial stability, is a little surprising. She's admirably well-qualified and in every way a good choice.

Trump hasn't…

September 22, 2018

An oft-used, if hackneyed, axiom is: Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. Applied to politics, it means that if you lose a special election, don't try again in the general.

Danny O'Connor says he's going to defy that conventional wisdom. Last month, the 32 year-old Democrat barely…

albert hunt

September 22, 2018

There was the thought of leaping onto a desk and screaming “you tell ‘em” when a three-judge federal panel delivered a stern comeuppance for lawyers representing the General Assembly in the ongoing congressional redistricting case.

In their order last week to stay action of their…

Redistricting North Carolina

September 22, 2018

It happened once again with Hurricane Florence. Whenever North Carolina is in crisis — such as with storms or other catastrophes — we collectively rise to the occasion. Politics, rivalries and past animosities disappear, and we witness the best of humanity.

We have to commend state…

Tom Campbell.jpg

September 21, 2018

Where is James Baker when we need him?

The political maneuvering required to get Judge Brett Kavanaugh confirmed to the Supreme Court is probably the most important and consequential since the Florida recount in 2000, so deftly navigated by the old Republican hand Baker on behalf of George W. Bush.…

EdRogers

September 21, 2018

Hurricane Florence has drenched eastern North Carolina with more than 30 inches of rain, an all-time record for the state. Last year, Hurricane Harvey stalled over Houston and dumped more than 60 inches of rain, an all-time record for the whole country. Also last year, Hurricane Maria ravaged the…

Eugene Robinson

September 20, 2018

On Sept. 17, Politico reported, U.S. president Donald Trump partially declassified a government surveillance application targeting former campaign consultant Carter Page and directed the U.S. Department of Justice to publicly release text messages relating to the "Russiagate" probe between former…

Knapp

September 20, 2018

In his new book "Fear," Bob Woodward recounts that in April 2017, after President Trump saw images of dead Syrian children with their mouths foaming from a sarin attack, he called Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and issued an order: Get me a plan for a military strike to take out Syrian President…

MarcThiessen
296 stories in Op Ed. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 30
        Next Page»   Last Page»