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One of the more fascinating stories to come out of the recent U.S.-North Korea summit was the fact that Kim Jong-Un brought his own toilet with him to Singapore.
According to multiple accounts, he did this so that nobody would get access to his stool and test them for DNA to learn about his health. This may sound crazy, but the modern DNA technology is fairly robust. In fact, Kim’s DNA could be pulled out of the cutlery, straws, cups, or really anything else hit, maybe the make of the toilet is unnecessary.
If researchers were breaking down our DNA, the aim was to gain insight into our human make-up as well as detect and treat disease, a huge benefit for the mankind. Most of us, especially the fans of TV shows such as NCIS and Bones, are familiar with the DNA is used to solve crimes. But as we have learned, technology is destined for the good will be often used for evil, too.
Imagine if it could be used against a political leader to expel them from their office, or opponents the ammunition they need to attack them for political gain. On a basic level, this can also be harmful for the political leaders psyche; it is hard not to leave a DNA anywhere.
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But not only politicians. Bloomberg has a good piece about the DNA testing kits and the potential for invasions of privacy, is a discussion that we saw after the revelations that the DNA of one of these services helped authorities find traces of the Golden State Killer. Bloomberg interviewed Debbie Kennett, a BRITISH genealogist, who said that there is “no control of genealogists who do this type of search.”
This is an area that should be closely followed. I suspect that what Kim Jong-Un is doing with his toilet habits can quickly be copied by despots and dictators as he is, and called on the traditional leaders with the heavy opposition to their leadership. Genetic testing of the sites have very little oversight outside of the FDA, but I would not be surprised if they are under some form of other regulations in the future.
This article originally appeared on PCMag.com.