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The venture capitalist wants to extend human life expectancy, and he says fears over privacy and the security of DNA data shouldn’t stand in the way.
Bill Maris has a simple proposition for those who are a little freaked out by his efforts to digitize human DNA: “If we each keep our genetic information secret, then we’re all going to die.” OK then.
The Google Ventures managing partner has shifted the firm’s focus this year to investing in companies that aim to slow aging, reverse disease, and extend life. Many of those life-sciences companies do this by collecting customers’ genetic information and looking for trends.
Hoarding this kind of personal data introduces risks, particularly as hacking becomes an everyday occurrence. But Maris dismissed privacy concerns surrounding the prospect of genomic data becoming public. “What are you worried about?” he said at a Wall Street Journal technology conference in Laguna Beach, Calif., on Tuesday. “Your genome isn’t really secret.”
That’s because people constantly leave traces of their genomic material lying around in public. If someone really wanted the information, they don’t need to hack a server. They could just pull a cup with your saliva out of the trash and test it, said Maris, who studied neuroscience and helped form Calico, a company within Google parent company Alphabet that focuses on age-related diseases. Google Ventures is an investor in 23andMe, which sells a $99 DNA spit kit to provide customers with ancestry information.
originally posted by: neoholographic
a reply to: HighDesertPatriot
That's a good point, and there's so much data out there that it would take humans forever to go through it. So they may say it's confidential then 5 years from now we will find out those records are far from confidential.