Hospital and Drugmaker Move to Build Vast Database of New Yorkers’ DNA – The New York Times

August 13, 2022

Mark Gerstein, a professor of Biomedical Informatics at Yale University, said there was no question that genomic datasets were driving great medical discoveries. But he said he still would not participate in one himself, and he urged people to consider whether adding their DNA to a database might someday affect their

“I tend to be a worrier,” he said.

Our collective knowledge of mutations and what illnesses they are associated with — whether Alzheimer’s or schizophrenia — would only increase in the years ahead, he said. “If the datasets leaked some day, the information might be used to discriminate against the children or grandchildren of current participants,” Dr. Gerstein said. They might be teased or denied insurance, he added.

He noted that even if the data was anonymous and secure today, that could change. “Securing the information over long periods of time gets much harder,” he said, noting that Regeneron might not even exist in 50 years. “The risk of the data being hacked over such a long period of time becomes magnified,” he said.