Current advances in DNA sequencing have made it possible that by 2020 every person in developed countries has had his/her genome sequenced. The good news is that your health prospects will be dramatically improved; you'll be able to know your susceptibility to disease and act upon it early. The bad news is that even if you don't want to know your genetic risks, the chances are somebody else will know about them; maybe your GP, your sister or even the Government. Here I briefly present some of the ethical and social challenges that current advances in personal genomics are likely to generate, particularly data sharing and ownership issues. Some of these challenges I have encountered directly through my work as developer of a database of patients with rare genetic disorders. Given that data yields of genome data will explode in the near future, research is needed into how to handle this data ethically. A reasonable balance must be struck between data sharing and personal privacy while ensuring derived benefits can be translated into better healthcare as quickly as possible.
by Craig Heath
The phone industry's move to open source operating systems is an opportunity for concerned individuals to implement functionality that the phone manufacturers and network operators can't or won't do themselves and touch the lives of millions of people. This presentation will cover specific opportunities for enhancing phone users' security and privacy, redressing the balance of power between individuals and faceless organisations.
11th September 2010