Gizmodo: Here’s Why the 23andMe Data Breach Is Such a Disaster 

December 10, 2023

“Zooming out to the larger system of commercial profiling, it really does impact opportunity loss sometimes,” Suzanne Bernstein, a law fellow at the Electronic Privacy Information Center, told Gizmodo. “The data that’s collected from you determines what you are or aren’t offered. That can be something innocuous like which target ads you see or what email blasts you get, but it also enables discrimination.” 

In the past, consumer data has been used to exclude certain demographics from job opportunities or vacant apartments. The personal information flying around the internet gets used in hiring decisions and credit applications, insurance companies even use it to set premiums. And, of course, the more detailed information criminals can dig up, the more likely you are to fall victim to identity theft. 

Genetic information might seem disconnected from these problems, but it’s not. 

You can’t change your genetic information, so it’s sensitive in and of itself, Bernstein said. “But it can also be used to make inferences about other health information, such as a diagnosis or medical family history,” she said. “There’s a serious risk of that becoming part of the profiling that happens in the broader ecosystem.” 

Read more here.

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