Monday, September 15, 2008

NIH takes down public data   posted by p-ter @ 9/15/2008 09:33:00 PM

In response to a recent paper detailing how to identify an individual from aggregate allele frequency data, the NIH has removed all such data under its control from the public eye.

This is obviously overkill (to identify an individual from such data, one would have to have genotyped them independently), but it's easier to inconvenience a few scientists than risk a PR backlash. Stories like this make it clear that expectations of privacy in terms of genetic data need a major rethinking; the open consent model of the Personal Genome Project is worth a very close look.