In December 2011, Samantha Clark opened up her browser and typed opensnp.org into the address bar. The page loaded; she hit the ‘Sign Up’ button, entered her name and email, and created a password. At the top of the page was a warning in red to read the disclaimer, a page-long list of the dangers of using the service. These included being discriminated against by employers or insurers, zero anonymity, government snoops, and potentially distressing discoveries about herself. She read it, checked a box that said, “I understand the warning and am willing to take these risks,” and then signed up.
“They really try to convince you not to do it,” Clark says.
Clark, a bioinformatics undergrad at the University of Toronto, had already been broadcasting her private musings to Facebook and Twitter for years, but this social network was different. Instead of uploading intimate photos of her and her…
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