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(The Stack)   Yes, it's creepy how much web page ads know about you. But this one can actually read your genome   ( divider line
    More: Interesting, DNA, AncestryDNA Website, user data, coverages  
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1095 clicks; posted to Fandom » on 16 Sep 2015 at 5:19 PM (5 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook

12 Comments     (+0 »)
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2015-09-16 5:21:50 PM  
How did your computer get your DNA?

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2015-09-16 5:34:03 PM  
Okay, read it.
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2015-09-16 7:05:19 PM  
It shouldn't be that difficult for a website to be able to read my DNA, my computer's literally soaking in it.
2015-09-16 7:26:51 PM  
What are these "ads" you speak of?
2015-09-16 7:32:18 PM  
You're not the consumer, folks. You're the product.
2015-09-16 7:41:41 PM  
Yesterday I bought Pringles for the first time in years.

I got home, and chrome gave me a Pringles add.

You win this round, Kroger.
2015-09-17 12:58:52 AM  
Does the small print cover postmortem baptism into the Mormons?
2015-09-17 10:53:49 AM  
Very few gene tests could be used for advertising.

Yes, if are you tested for disease, they might be able to target medical product ads at you.

Paternity? I suppose a paternity test could be used to target a few ads of very specific kinds at you, perhaps divorce lawyers, say.

But most genealogical testing does not test for anything that would be very useful to an advertiser.

There are a few tests that can be done which Family Tree DNA calls "novelty tests. They test for a specific genetic trait.  But few of these are important.

And most DNA tests for genealogy do not test important genes. They test several different areas of the DNA where mutations are more frequent and more reliable but do not test for general or specific traits.

For example, the test for mitochondrial DNA and the Y-chromosome test High Variability Regions--but these are in the "junk DNA". Because they are not selected for fitness, they vary more freely. They may do something but nothing that an advertiser would care about. Autosomal DNA test test all of the chromosomes except the Y chromosome but the information provided to the test subject is not useful for determining genetic traits, only your relationship to other people tested and their proven ancestors.

The Y chromosome's only purpose is to make you a boy fetus instead of a girl fetus. There are better ways of determining you sex from personal data. Your sex is by no means a secret.  Your Y chromosome may be from Africa but that doesn't make you African or even black. My Y-chromosme is from Africa but the most recent mutations, thousands of years ago happened all over Europe, Africa and North Africa. There are even a few people carrying this Y chromosome around China or South America. It means nothing. The genes are prehistoric.

You would have a hard time selling me menthol cigarettes since only one line of my ancestors is African while thousands more are European. I am listed as 99% European. What use is this information Paraphrase Morbo the New Monster here. Genetics doesn't work like that!! has been criticized for basing its predictions of ethnicity on genealogical data rather than the genetic tests it also sells. Since genealogy is riddled with errors, that data is not nearly as reliable as gene test results would be in predicting what nationalities, races, religions and so forth your ancestors were.

In any case, this is scarcely more than a clue to who you are. Genetics is not destiny. It certainaly has absolutely nothing to do with racial concepts, which are now considered unscientific by the scientific community.

Only the last few generations matter any way. Over time the random reconfigeration of your Chromosomes reduces older genes to bits and pieces forming part of newer genes. You get half of your genetic material from your Mother and half from your Father, more or less. But big chunks of any given chromosome are from one or the other. The only exception is your Y chromosome which is inherited intact but doesn't carry any sensitive information other than your sex, male.

As I have pointed out, people can figure out which sex your belong to without consulting your private genetic data.
2015-09-17 11:11:45 AM  

Smackledorfer: Yesterday I bought Pringles for the first time in years.

I got home, and chrome gave me a Pringles add.

You win this round, Kroger.

Probably a rare coincidence such as happens every day. Unless you used your computer or phone to look for Pringles, for example, there is no way to connect your purchase offline to your advertising profile online.

It may seem unlikely for such a coincidence to happen but consider the vast number of purchases made each day and the vast number of products purchased. You are liable to run into a coincidence involving some person purchasing some product or performing some action every day. There are so many ads and so many people and so many purchases that coincidences of the sort you experienced are virtually inevitable. It is just rare for people to notice them. It is just that your habit of not buying Pringles every day makes the ad look like more than coincidence. It wouldn't be much of story or surprise if you bought Pringles every day, would it? Then every time Pringles was advertised to you would seem meaningless rather than meaningful. This might be wrong. Your habit might be strongly reinforced by advertising and thus an effect of advertising.

John Allen Paulos, the popular author and mathematician observes that it is wrong to concentrate on the odds of the one particular coincidence you experience, calculated after the event in question. You should consider the total number of possible coincidences. How likely is it to have a coincidence in the family of coincidences in question rather than how likely it is one particular coincidence will happen. On the day you experienced your coincidence, billions of other coincidences did not happen to you or did not happen to other people either. While billions of tiny condidences of no particular interest did happen and a few people had amazing coincidences that were just as unlikely as yours.

To put it another way, if you do enough experiments in chance or psychic powers or concidences, you will inevitably get occasionally "meaningful" results by pure random chance. They look like proof but they are not. Flip a coin long enough and you will get long runs of heads or tails, or heads or tails alternating or other patterns that the mind picks out as "meaningful". But you will not get more of them than mere chance dictates should occur.

Cherry-picking the seemingly meaningful results is a form of informal logical fallacy. It is a bias of the observer, not a real pattern in the data. When you examine data you should always be skeptical and ask yourself how many times the same result can be produced by pure chance. In some cases the causal links are faulty and the number of hits pure chance, like drawing targets around the bullet holes after you fire the bullets rather than hitting the targets by virtue of good aim.

Reality is tricky. Damn tricky. Makes concidence look like hard data and hard laws look chancy.

No wonder so few people understand science. Unfortunately many of them are science journalists or scientists.
2015-09-17 11:20:53 AM  
I am a direct descendant of Sir Thomas More (16th Great Grandfather). No, I do not want to buy your Bibles. No, I do not want land in Florida or any other place.

I don't believe in your Utopia. I am not a saint. More is just one of thousands, millions of ancestors I have. Being descended from him has absolutely nothing to do with my life, person or lifestyle. I had a life long before I knew who he was, let alone my connection to him.

Still, this question of how genealogy companies use your genealogical and genetic data is a valid subject for study and debate. Like all companies, genealogy companies could abuse your trust and sell your data. You could get a bunch of unwanted ads or even identity theft or persecution from crazy racists, politicians or bigots.

I see a lot of crazy in gene testing threads online. Not so much on the sites where people want to answer real questions and not invent excuses to hate each other more.

Arabs and Berbers in North Africa, Jews and non-Jews, the people of the Balkans--a lot of them haven't got a clue how genealogy or genetics works and are just in it for the propaganda.

Oy vey! Some of the crap that they post .They keep forgetting that the genetics was around thousands of years before the races, religions, ethnicities and nationalism.

For the record, the mutation that defines my Y chromosome clan is only found in England and France coontil very recently) even though it originated in the same place as all Y chromosomes, namely the homeland of "Y Chromosome" Adam. I have a tremendous number of African cousins by another Mother and another Continent, but am myself overwhelming White to the point of having skin so white and thin that I am virtually transparent. There is tens of thousands of years between me and my genetic cousins, mere centuries and millennia betwen me and my genealogical cousins.

You have to constantly remind yourself that genes are not about social constructs.
2015-09-17 11:44:08 AM  

brantgoose: Probably a rare coincidence such as happens every day. Unless you used your computer or phone to look for Pringles, for example, there is no way to connect your purchase offline to your advertising profile online.

Well, don't forget that Kroger tracks and sells purchasing history by name as well. I wouldn't put it past google to be among those purchasers.

It certainly could be coincidence, but I found it amusing and on-topic for the thread. Take your bloviating fark masturbation elsewhere please. This is not your personal erotica site.
2015-09-17 12:27:58 PM  
Jean testing to determine whether Wrangler butts drive you nuts
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