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Tin Foil Hat Alert: Is Google Indexing Your DNA?



By David Vogelpohl

Google’s well known mission of organizing the world’s information may soon include indexing your DNA blueprint. Google has just invested 3.9 million dollars in 23andMe. According to their website “23andMe is a privately held company developing new ways to help you make sense of your own genetic information”.

This cutesy name refers to the “23 paired volumes of your own genetic blueprint”. The website doesn’t specifically state how they’re going to get your genetic blueprint, but one can assume this is an entirely voluntary process. Of course, you may want to think twice about using any biometric security devices sent to you by Google.

23andMe is targeted at people wanting to learn more about their inherited physical traits, ancestry, and genealogy. The site doesn’t specifically claim to provide information on genetically inherited diseases, but this benefit has been a long standing aim of DNA blueprinting.

Ironically, one of the co-founders is Anne Wojcicki (aka Sergey Bryn’s wife) so any returns enjoyed by 23andMe’s success will be kept in the family.

With Google’s mantra of “do no evil” and the strict privacy requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA), it’s doubtful Google will ever see any of 23andMe’s actual DNA data on customers / patients. One can’t help but wonder though how cool a DNA blueprint / Google Maps mash-up would look like.

In any case, it will probably be a while before 23andMe starts to accept customers, so determining exactly what Google’s motives are (other than helping Sergey’s wife) and what role they would have with DNA data is still difficult to tell.

In the mean time, sit tight and run the other way if you see Matt Cutts coming at you with a cotton swab.

About David Vogelpohl

David is the Vice President of Marketing and Sales for Giganews, Inc., the world’s largest Usenet access company. For over 6 years David has managed countless large scale global Internet marketing campaigns covering up to 8 different languages. David’s specialties include PPC management, affiliate channel sales, and Search Engine Optimization.

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  • http://www.giganews.com David Vogelpohl

    Re: “How people misinterpret stuff – Google Indexing DNA » Blogging India”

    Mohan, you realize that the Orwellian statements were mostly tongue in cheek right? I clarified this several times….

    “With Google’s mantra of “do no evil” and the strict privacy requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA), it’s doubtful Google will ever see any of 23andMe’s actual DNA data on customers / patients.”

    “The website doesn’t specifically state how they’re going to get your genetic blueprint, but one can assume this is an entirely voluntary process.”

    BTW, you state “Google’s aim is simple. Sequence every part of the Human 46 chromosomal DNA and find out which part deals with what, and make it available on the internet for searching.”

    Do you have a source for this specifically dealing with 23andMe? I would love to give it a read.