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Gattaca

Gattaca
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In the near future, your job and dating prospects are all a factor of your DNA and the quality of your genetics. Much like the risk of people hunting you down online that we have today, this shows how the essence of who you are could be used against you. Some examples:

Spoilers ahead!
  • A girl takes a stray hair to the corner DNA lab to check out a guy she's interested in.
  • Our protagonist, who's parents decided to let grow naturally in the womb instead of letting the fetus be genetically perfected, has inferior DNA. This prevents him from getting any kind of job better than cleaning toilets.
  • Even though people are legally protected from DNA collection, potential applicants who don't "volunteer" a sample are considered unhirable. Though illegal, the discrimination is impossible to prove..
  • Desperate people use the DNA of others to borrow identities so they can get things they otherwise couldn't.
  • All police searches, checks, investigations, etc. involve checking DNA.

Basically, it's a cautionary tale of what we could become if we let our genetic data become the standard by which we're treated in society.

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FBI Using Fuzzy Math to Promote DNA Accuracy?

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DNA might not be as strong evidence as you've been led to believe.

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DNA Matching Has Problems – FBI Tries to Cover It Up

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Some DNA lab workers have found that, while DNA is truly unique, the process of looking at only a small set of "loci" to make a match between people has flaws. In one case, a match was made in DNA testing between one person who was black and one who was white.

Not surprisingly, the FBI has been hard at work to cover up these finding:

In July 2006, after Chicago-area defense attorneys sought a database search on behalf of a murder suspect, the FBI's Callaghan held a telephone conference with Illinois crime lab officials. The topic was "how to fight this," according to lab officials' summary of the conversation, which later became part of the court record. Callaghan suggested they tell the judge that Illinois could be disconnected from the national database system, the summary shows. Callaghan then told the lab officials that "it would in fact be unlikely that IL would be disconnected," according to the summary.
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Medical Science Makes Doping Better and Harder to Detect

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Using a advances in medical science, soon we may see athletes altering their mood or even their DNA to get the edge in sports.

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Congress About to Do Something Smart! Gasp!

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There's a bill winding it's way through the muck in the capitol building. If this bill becomes law, it would preemptively prevent DNA-based discrimination, get this: before it becomes a problem. In the past, congress has been reluctant to pass laws that would prevent a problem before it gets out of control because they lack foresight or because their pockets were so full of cash that they couldn't concentrate on upholding the rights of the little people.

GINA would make it illegal for health insurers to raise premiums or deny coverage based on genetic information, and would prohibit employers from using such information for decisions on hiring, firing, promotions or job assignments.
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FBI to Bully Innocent for DNA

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The U.S. government will soon begin collecting DNA samples from all citizens arrested in connection with any federal crime and from many immigrants detained by federal authorities, adding genetic identifiers from more than 1 million individuals a year to the swiftly growing federal law enforcement DNA database.

If you are found innocent, you can't be treated like a criminal. Duh.

What is happening at the FBI that they can violate our privacy and rights over and over and over?

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Unexpected Intelligence from the UK

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No offense to the UK, but they've not got the best history when it comes to personal privacy. That's why when I heard that the recent call to create a national DNA registry has been rejected, I was pleasantly surprised!

Of course, they still have their problems. The existing DNA registry is filled with data from criminals, but also people who were only suspects. Obviously criminals should have a reduced set of privacy rights, but people who have never been convicted is another story entirely. Still, props to the UK for having the brains to reject such a flagrant rights violation.

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People Avoiding Doctors and Insurance Companies When Getting DNA Tests

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Because of fears of data sharing, data loss, and inappropriate disclosure, people are circumventing their doctors and insurance companies when getting DNA tests. Smart people.

Can and would they use your DNA results against you? Do credit card companies raise your rates according to unrelated things on your credit report? Do insurance companies raise your rates due to traffic tickets that have little to do with telling how good or safe a driver you are?

Like I said, avoiding a record of your DNA is a smart idea.

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Pre-Problem Legislation? Who’d Have Thought?

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Assuming the bill is written well, this is a very good thing. Congress is pushing through a law that would prevent discrimination based on genetics. If you don't understand what this means, check out Gattica, a movie that explains the risks better than any other I've seen.

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DNA Drive-By Accusations

Ripe for abuse
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If you're related to a felon or just happen to have similar DNA, the Police may come knocking at your door.

This is just one more reason why we need to fight and fight to prevent any type of collection and storage of DNA information from innocent people. I know that targeting relatives doesn't initially require DNA, but the obvious next step once they find that relative is to force a DNA sample for comparison.

I'm not certain I'm against that in some cases, but the primary question that comes to mind is, what do they do with the DNA evidence once the relative has been ruled out? Does it stay forever even though they were innocent?

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