What negative consequences could there be for someone who releases their entire genome sequence to the public domain?

Even if you don't care about your genetic privacy, your parents, siblings, and children might. You are giving away approximately half of their genomes, more than enough to separate them from non-relatives. You are also giving away a quarter of the genetic information of your grandparents, aunts and uncles, and nieces and nephews; a eighth of that of your cousins, etc. In general, your genetic sequence is not truly "yours" alone but belongs to your family. Are you prepared to ask all your close relatives for their permission? If not, what gives you the right to publish their genetic information without their consent?

3 Replies to “What negative consequences could there be for someone who releases their entire genome sequence to the public domain?”

    1. It could conceivably be used to (falsely) place you at a crime scene. (Edit: http://opendotdotdot.blogspot.co…)
    2. It could also mistakenly place you at a crime scene. Investigators do cold searches through databases for matches to DNA evidence without correcting for multiple testing.  (This article http://www.sanfranmag.com/story/… just boils my blood.)  So, a match can come up purely by chance, but prosecutors and their disingenuous paid expert witnesses may mislead a jury and falsely state that the odds of the match coming up by chance are astronomically low.
    3. Depending on where you live, now or some time in the future it could make it harder for you to get health insurance.
    4. Nonscientists tend to assume genetic determinism and they may become prejudiced against you on that account. For example, some study may come out suggesting one of your genes is "linked with" aggression or something similar, and people may become prone to see that in you if they find out.
  1. In addition to risks in other answers, if your genome contains any cancer genes (whether you develop cancers later or not), insurance companies (health insurance companies excluded by law of 2008 but with previous cases of discrimination reported) and potential employers may discriminate against you.  You may not be able to get life insurance, mortgages, etc because you would be a high risk.

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