New Scientist Magazine Investigates Genetic Privacy

The January 2009 issue of the New Scientist features two special investigatory articles on genetic privacy.

"Who's Testing your DNA?" Stealthy paternity and infidelity testing can destroy privacy and tear families apart, but the law is struggling to keep up – New Scientist investigates.

"Could your DNA Betray you?" DNA tests for paternity and infidelity are illegal in the UK if done without consent, but they may still be happening.

I was particularly interested in the first article, which includes an excellent analysis of US state laws and penalties that could apply to infidelity or paternity testing conducted suriptiously. Oregon is one of the states included in the analysis, stating that "a person may not obtain genetic information from an individua, or from an individual's DNA sample, without first obtaining informed consent of the individual or the individual's representative." Penalties include "up to 1 year in jail. Fine up to $6,250. Civil right of action for damages."

(Image credit. New Scientist, 2009. Click to enlarge.)

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