December 14, 2018

Good Law | Bad Law #111 - If you give away your DNA, who else can access it? w/ Natalie Ram

Giving your DNA to one of the many commercial DNA kit companies, the ones who tell you about your family tree or your hidden health risks, sounds innocent enough, right?  But is it?

 

Aaron Freiwald, Managing Partner of Freiwald Law and host of the weekly podcast, Good Law | Bad Law, is joined by Natalie Ram, an assistant professor of law at the University of Baltimore Law School, to discuss these privacy issues. An expert in biotechnology, bioethics, and innovation policy, Natalie offers stern warnings to those who give away their DNA to companies like 23 and Me and Ancestry.com. 

 

When you give away your DNA to one of these commercial, at-home, DNA testing services, you allow them, to share not only your own DNA with all those who participate in the databases, but the DNA of your close family members, including your children.  Law enforcement then can – and in some very high profile criminal investigations already has – use that data to obtain evidence that can be used to solve crimes.  The law is evolving in this cutting-edge industry, and, Natalie explains, it is crucial to understand constitutional rights that may be implicated.

 

As many as 60% of Americans may already be identifiable through these databases because the technology has become sophisticated enough to link a person’s immediate family members as well as distant family, like third or fourth cousins.  Join in on the conversation to learn more and decide for yourself whether you want to take the risks involved in this seemingly innocent activity.

 

Host: Aaron Freiwald

Guest: Natalie Ram

 

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