Further to the earlier Would you make your DNA and health data public if it may help cure disease? on some of the genetic research initiatives underway, the less positive side of genetic ‘marketing’. While my sense is that the exact mix of genetics, epigenetics, and environmental factors is more complex than some of the advocates and activists are interested in or concerned about, there is a line – (DNA should not be just another ‘data point’ to sell stuff. Quote:
Yet there’s little doubt that human genomes could be a marketer’s dream: a six-billion-unit code brimming with nothing but personal data, pointing out people at risk of obesity, or cancers and high cholesterol, or even those with dead-straight hair, making the carriers of these gene variants prime targets to receive tailored ads for, say, discount gym memberships, weight-loss programs, antioxidants, cholesterol-lowering drugs or even home perms.
And while privacy advocates fret over marketers delving into people’s DNA, others don’t see genetic information as being much different than the plethora of other details already collected about consumers – the online searches they conduct, the personal experiences they post, where and when they shop, or what they buy.
“Conceptually, I don’t see a difference between DNA and the amount of information that’s already out there about everything that people do,” said Adam Froman, CEO of Delvinia, a Toronto-based digital-strategy firm. “It’s just another data point.”