Identifying People from their DNA
The genetic data posted online seemed perfectly anonymous - strings of billions of DNA letters from more than 1,000 people. But all it took was some clever sleuthing on the Web for a genetics researcher to identify five people he randomly selected from the study group. Not only that, he found their entire families, even though the relatives had no part in the study – identifying nearly 50 people.
Other reports have identified people whose genetic data was online, but none had done so using such limited information: the long strings of DNA letters, an age and, because the study focused on only American subjects, a state.