Be invisible.

Invisible

is the future of genetic privacy.

Don’t be tracked, analyzed or cloned

Erase deletes 99.5% of DNA left behind
Replace obfuscates the remaining .5%

  • Acing that interview? Don’t let your genes undermine your confidence. Be invisible.
  • Are you too big to fail? Don’t let DNA spill your secrets. Protect your prestige and be invisible.
  • Spend the night somewhere you shouldn't have? Erase your indiscretion and be invisible.
  • Dinner with the prospective inlaws going smoothly? Don't let them judge you based on your DNA, be invisible.
  • Exercising your freedom of speech? Be invisible and never get tracked.
150

cells required to yield 1 nanogram of DNA

.5

nanograms of DNA required for standard forensic analysis

108

nanograms of DNA in a microliter of saliva

1.5

average liters of saliva a person generates each day

40

nanograms of DNA in a fingernail

.1

average millimeters a person's fingernails grow each day

5

nanograms of DNA in a single hair

50

average number of hairs a person sheds each day

Research

DN-Anonymous

In 1995, nobel prize winner Kary Mullis joked about creating a company “DN-anonymous” that would sell amplified solutions of DNA which individuals could use for masking genetic identity. While he was joking about actually creating this company, he predicted some one would actually do this within the next 10 years.

William C. Thompson, “Forensic DNA Evidence: The Myth of Infallibility,” in Genetic Explanations: Sense and Nonsense (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2013), 252-253.

Crime Scenes

In 2006, Rebecca Dent showed in her master's thesis from the Centre for Forensic Science in the University of Western Australia that crime scenes could be contaminated or spoofed by spraying them with fragments of DNA representing CODIS loci.

Rebecca Dent, “The Detection and Characterization of Forensic DNA Profiles Manipulated by the Addition of PCR Amplicon” (Master’s Thesis, Centre for Forensic Science, University of Western Australia, 2006).

Faking it

In 2009, a group of scientists in Israel showed that standard molecular biology techniques enable anyone with access to a basic lab to produce synthesized DNA with any desired genetic profile. Then they created a library of fake DNA fingerprints and artificial forensic samples like saliva and blood - indistinguishable from authentic ones.

Dan Frumkin et al., “Authentication of Forensic DNA Samples,” Forensic Science International: Genetics 4, no. 2 (February 2010): 95–103, doi:10.1016/j.fsigen.2009.06.009.

Surveillance

In Heather Dewey-Hagborg's project Stranger Visions she collected hair, cigarette butts and chewing gum from the streets of New York and made realistic 3D portraits of the strangers that left them by analyzing the DNA the samples contained. Now she is applying what she learned from the streets and the lab to protect your genetic privacy.

Heather Dewey-Hagborg, “Stranger Visions: A Provocation,” IEEE Security & Privacy 11, no. 6 (December 2013): 69–70.

Identification

Even anonymous DNA databases have been shown to be vulnerable. In 2013, Yaniv Erlich's genetics lab at MIT discovered the identities of anonymous DNA donors by cross-referencing their genetic data with publicly available information from genealogy databases.

Melissa Gymrek et al., “Identifying Personal Genomes by Surname Inference,” Science 339, no. 6117 (January 18, 2013): 321–24, doi:10.1126/science.1229566.

Information

DNA is commonly used to confirm identity, but it also is a powerful source of information that can reveal details of an individual's health, ancestry, and paternity. Diagnostic tests can reveal predispositions for conditions ranging from breast cancer to diabetes, Alzheimer's, and heart disease, while paternity and ancestry tests can bring shocking and unwelcome revelations about family history.

In depth information on genetic privacy concerns including case studies are available on the Genetic Privacy Network

You wouldn’t leave your medical records on the subway for just anyone to read. It should be a choice. You should be in control of how you share your information and with whom: be it your email, your phone calls, your SMS messages, and certainly your genes. Invisible is protection against new forms of biological surveillance.

Heather Dewey-Hagborg

BioGenFutures Founder

Endorsements

 

Jeremy Gruber

President of the Council for Responsible Genetics comments: “No one should be able to take another person’s DNA without consent and mine it for information. The promises of the genetic revolution will not be fully realized if concerns over unauthorized testing of DNA and its misuse are not addressed. Invisible represents a critical step towards achieving that goal.”

Elizabeth Joh

Legal scholar and Professor of Law at UC Davis says: "The Invisible product line provides an important commentary on the state of genetic surveillance and the growing evidence that individuals want to take counter-measures, both to protect their privacy and protest its invasion."

Douglas Rushkoff

Media theorist and author of Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now is enthusiastic: "It used to be that I could avoid leaving a data trail simply by staying offline and using cash instead of credit cards. Now, it seems, my own biology is being used against me - not just to track my past but, through big data analysis, to predict and dictate my future. Anything we can use to make ourselves more aware of this while also throwing our machine overlords off track is well worth pursuing. I'll take two of each."

Press

Invisible is everywhere

 

Press Release

Contact

let us know what you think

info@biogenfutur.es

Thank You

Our Team

Heather Dewey-Hagborg - Founder and Chief Researcher

Thomas Dexter - Media Production

Allison Burtch, Aurelia Moser, and Adam Harvey - Research