Many of us have done it: ordered a genetic testing kit from the internet to find out about who we are, where we come from, and any health risks we might face. But what kind of privacy and security risks are we opening ourselves up to when we take those tests?
Jeanna Matthews, an associate professor of computer science at Clarkson University was recently featured on “Spit”, the iHeartRadio podcast with 23andMe where she addressed privacy concerns in the digital age.
Matthews and Ariel Silverstone, an expert on cyber and global security, sat down with podcast host Baratunde Thurston to talk about the current state of data privacy, including things like who has access to your data, the things they learn about you (and those like you) and why it is critical to educate yourself and read the terms of service when you take the tests.
“Big decisions are being made about our lives with little pieces of information,” Matthews says. We often don’t anticipate the risks associated with distribution of our personal data.
“Do your insurance rates go up if you purchase plus-size clothing? What if you purchase it for somebody else?” she asks. “Your interest rates go up if you charge marriage counseling because that could have a big financial impact on your life.”
“There are lots of little things that you don’t have any way of anticipating the outcome” when personal data is shared, Matthews says in the podcast.
Listen to the full podcast here.