Identification based on genome data could further complicate ethical and legal concerns

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In New York, researchers found that genome sequence data can be enough to identify people, even with no other information given, leading to ethical and legal controversies. Especially for studies that promise anonymity, genomic data makes it nearly impossible to be truly anonymous now that researchers were able to predict facial structure, ethnicity, height, weight and other traits.

While knowing ethnicity or physical traits are important for linking to diseases and personalized medicine, it also means more data safeguards are put in place to protect people from being racially profiled or targeted based on certain traits. Scientists were able to predict the individual based on genetic data 88 percent of the time in their study of over 1,000 individuals.