Gene.coop at the Dutch Design Week 2017

During the Dutch Design Week 2017 (21-29 October) you can visit the Embassy of Health to discover gene.coop. Gene.coop is a cooperative in which your DNA is stored and only made available to third parties under conditions determined by you. 

Recent decades brought human genetics from laboratory studies to mainstream commercial products. Today’s genetic research is a multi-billion industry that makes use of genetic material acquired from individuals through commercial services. These companies sell the genetic data in digitized form to research institutions for profit.

Waag decided to challenge this exploitation with a socially responsible business model of selfownership where citizens remain owners of their genetic material and sequenced data: Gene.coop. This cooperative stores DNA and only makes it available to third parties under conditions determined by owners themselves. In this way, citizens remain in full control of their genetic data and become stockholders of their genomic utilization.

Why

We are constantly contributing to the amount of data that tells something about our preferences and behaviour. This data is of value to many parties. But who owns our (healthcare) data and is our privacy well protected? The centralization of power and data with a small group of parties puts our freedom, privacy, rights and values under pressure. Your DNA and data belongs to you! So why do other parties make profit from it?

Waag is actively searching for solutions for these errors in our systems and believes that ‘privacy by design’ should be leading in the development of new products and services.