23andMe data breach affects UK, Europe and US individuals

24/10/2023 | TechCrunch

Following the news earlier in the month that genetic testing company 23andMe had suffered a data breach, further revelations have emerged involving 4.1 million more genetic data profiles of individuals, including people in the United Kingdom, Europe and the US.

In related news, The Conversation considers the broader implications of the breach. Once hackers had gained access to users' accounts through weak or repeated passwords, they could access the data of thousands of people who didn't use the service. As such, the incident raises concerns about privacy, data security, and corporate accountability in the information economy. The breach also highlights the intertwined nature of genetic data, which inevitably reveals information about others who share part of the genetic code. This predicament underscores the collective impact of individual data decisions on others.

UPDATE: 241023 - Reuters reports that 23andMe notified customers via email that there was a breach of one or more accounts connected to theirs through the "DNA Relatives" feature. The breach resulted in the exposure of personal data such as relationship labels, ancestry reports, and matching DNA segments, among other things. The company stated that the unauthorized access to their accounts was a result of a threat actor.

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