The New York Times: China Still Buys American DNA Equipment for Xinjiang Despite Blocks

“I mean, some professor who doesn’t speak Chinese sits on Google in the evening and finds that stuff,” Professor Moreau said. “What is the process that they have put in place to avoid things like that from happening? They should have caught this much earlier than me.”

Forensic database challenged over ethics of DNA holdings

In March 2019, Moreau began looking into studies of minority populations in China. He spotted a 2017 review of almost 38,000 Y-chromosome profiles of men in China, held in the YHRD. It was co-authored by Willuweit and Roewer; other authors included researchers from Chinese public-security and police forces. “I realized that the YHRD was a problem,” says Moreau. The review stated that the profiles had been collected with informed consent — but Moreau argues that it’s hard to see how Uyghurs and other persecuted minority groups could have freely given it.

Risks of genomic surveillance and how to stop it

As the technology gets cheaper, and as the adoption of surveillance gets ever broader, there is an acute risk of pervasive genomic surveillance, not only by authoritarian regimes but also in democracies with weakening rights. But such a loss of autonomy and freedom is not inevitable. Governments should reform surveillance laws and draft comprehensive privacy protections that tightly regulate the collection, use, and retention of DNA and other biometric identifiers.

ESHG warns against misuses of genetic tests and biobanks for discrimination purposes

While China, the USA and Thailand are very different countries from Kuwait, both in their size and their leadership, the Kuwaiti example gives us reason to hope that international pressure may have an effect. We are concerned that the growing public awareness of abusive DNA collections will have a detrimental effect on the image of genetics in the wider world. The anti-vaccination movement started off small and was supported by only a handful of mavericks. Few people would have imagined that it would grow so quickly, and to such an extent that a substantial proportion of the population in many Western countries refrain from vaccinations, depriving their children of potentially life-saving tools, and also suggesting they might refuse to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The ethical questions that haunt facial-recognition research

In the study on Uyghur faces published by Wiley, the researchers didn’t gather photos from online, but said they took pictures of more than 300 Uyghur, Korean and Tibetan 18–22-year-old students at Dalian Minzu University in northeast China, where some of the scientists worked. Months after the study was published, the authors added a note to say that the students had consented to this. But the researchers’ assertions don’t assuage ethical concerns, says Yves Moreau, a computational biologist at the Catholic University of Leuven. He sent Wiley a request to retract the work last year, together with the Toronto-based advocacy group Tech Inquiry.

China: Gen-Studie zu Uiguren zurückgezogen

Genetische Daten sind mehr als nur Daten. Sie können Auskunft geben über intime Eigenschaften, und mitunter werden sie sogar gegen die Menschen verwendet, von denen sie erhoben wurden. Manche Wissenschaftler betrachten deshalb mit Sorge, was gerade in Chinas Genforschung geschieht. Dort haben sich Wissenschaftler darauf spezialisiert, Gen-Daten zu forensischen Zwecken zu erheben. Sie sollen gemeinsam mit der Überwachung von Bewegungsdaten und der verbreiteten Gesichtserkennung im öffentlichen Ra...

Study of China’s ethnic minorities retracted as dozens of papers come under scrutiny for ethical violations

A legal journal has retracted a 2019 article on the facial genetics of ethnic minorities in China for ethics violations, and the publisher, Springer Nature, is investigating more than two dozen other articles for similar concerns. The article, “Y Chromosomal STR haplotypes in Chinese Uyghur, Kazakh and Hui ethnic groups and genetic features of DYS448 null allele and DYS19 duplicated allele,” appeared in the International Journal of Legal Medicine. Three of the authors were affiliated with the

Australian experts raise security concerns about Chinese maker of Andrew Forrest Covid-19 tests

Experts and human rights groups have raised new concerns about the Chinese company at the centre of Andrew Forrest’s Covid-19 testing deal following California’s reported rejection of its equipment due to security concerns. The Australian government announced in late April that it had accepted 10m Covid-19 tests manufactured by the Beijing Genomics Institute, purchased in a $200m deal brokered by Forrest, the mining billionaire, and his philanthropic arm, the Minderoo Foundation...

L’Argent aux temps du corona

Maintenant que la tempête sanitaire de la pandémie commence à retomber, on entraperçoit la dévastation économique qu’elle laissera derrière elle. Nul besoin d’être grand économiste pour percevoir que nous ne pourrons sortir de cette crise avec les recettes classiques d’austérité. Malgré qu’en notre ère d’orthodoxie budgétaire, les invocations cardinales soient « norme budgétaire » et « contrôle de l’inflation », certaines déclarations suggèrent aujourd’hui un possible écart au dolorisme budgétai

Digital monitoring for COVID-19 epidemic control: privacy and human rights

Digital monitoring technologies have been touted as offering cheap tools to help control the COVID-19 pandemic that can be immediately rolled out at population scale. However, it is clear that this pandemic is the perfect storm for promoting the further development of the surveillance state and that some surveillance tools raise major fundamental rights issues. Controlling an epidemic is a population-level “game” that involves a myriad of unknown and random interactions between individuals. Con

Introduction: societal exit from the COVID-19 lockdown

Having appeared in China at the end of 2019, the COVID-19 epidemic has swept through the world at an astonishing speed. Never before in history had humanity been confronted with a pandemic while being so deeply interconnected as a “global village”. But the tragedy is that our ever increasing local and international physical interconnectedness has not been accompanied by a matching preparedness to the foreseen threat of rapid pandemic spread, and not even by the capacity to rapidly absorb the ava
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