Loading...
BYH Zoning Commission. Take your chairs and sit in the field by Bostic Sugg in morning or afternoon and tell the...

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

February 17, 2019

If the most important factor determining the welfare of workers is the growth rate of the economy, that has policy implications that free-market conservatives, among others, will welcome.

Real, long-term economic growth is about investment, about both the amount invested and how skillfully it is…

john hood.jpg

February 17, 2019

Would you like to know why U.S. sanctions against companies owned by Russian billionaire and businessman Oleg Deripaska are being lifted?

You are the reason.

Me too.

And so is everybody else who lives and votes in North Carolina.

Last April, the Treasury Department imposed sanctions against…

DGMartin.jpg

February 16, 2019

With confidence in government at record lows, where have all our leaders gone? Where is the James Madison of today, or the Thomas Jefferson, or even Everett Dirksen? He was the Republican leader who partnered with President Johnson to pass civil rights legislation in the 1960s.

These people were…

eleanorclift.jpg

February 15, 2019

The proposed DMV move brings to mind one of the old Three Stooges comedies, the one where one of the zany trio says, “I’ve cut this board three times and it’s still too short.” Our state continues to take cuts at property decisions and keeps coming up short.

State political…

Tom Campbell

February 15, 2019

On Bleecker Street in Manhattan, you can find both a Planned Parenthood clinic and a boutique for pregnant women.

According to Vogue, the store, Hatch, "is arguably the first of its kind, in that it was designed specifically for pregnant shoppers: Changing rooms have a size chart to help you figure…

kathrynlopez

February 15, 2019

The decision by Virginia's top three elected officials to hunker down and cling to their jobs is bad for both the state and the Democratic Party. If they won't go, the only thing to do is investigate them all.

Gov. Ralph Northam, Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax and Attorney General Mark Herring have all…

Eugene Robinson

February 14, 2019

Of all the headlines about the scandals concerning the alleged past sins of one after another high official in Virginia, one struck me most poignantly. It was this, from the front page of The Washington Times:

"Democrats to vet candidates closely for secrets in past."

Maybe I have spent too much…

February 13, 2019

As our new legislative session fully uncoils, it's good to recall that just a few weeks ago workers in 20 states saw an increase in the minimum wage. The federal minimum, $7.25, was last raised in 2009. Since then, 29 states and dozens of cities and counties have chosen to exceed the federal floor.…

Gene Nichol

February 13, 2019

President Trump, in his State of the Union speech, broadly and wrongly portrayed illegal immigrants as murderers, rapists and drug dealers who must be stopped. But Trump does not limit his anti-immigrant zeal to them. In service to Trump, authorities are now handcuffing and shackling non-citizens…

Take Back North Carolina Press Conferece - US Attorney Robert Higdon speaks at press conference.jpg

February 13, 2019

Ten states and Washington, D.C., have legalized the recreational use of marijuana. Twenty-two other states, along with U.S. territories Puerto Rico and Guam, allow marijuana to be used for medical purposes. Let's examine some hidden issues about marijuana use.

Before we start, permit me to…

Walter Williams
317 stories in Op Ed. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 32
        Next Page»   Last Page»