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The University of Southampton

DNA on internet used to identify anonymous donors

Published: 17 January 2013
DNA strand

A genetics researcher has recently proven that anonymous DNA data on the internet is, in fact, not anonymous. The online database contains strings of DNA from more than 1000 people.

The researcher identified 5 random people from the database using a very limited amount of information.  Additionally, he also identified their entire families, illustrating the difficulty in keeping people anonymous when their DNA data is freely available on the internet.  All that was required was the genetic information of the people, their age and the region where they lived.  Although the techniques used were complicated, individuals were not  supposed to be able to be identified from the information published online.

To see the full article, click on the link at the bottom of this page.

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