In August 2020, Blackstone Inc, one of Wall Street's top alternative investment management companies, acquired Ancestry.com for $4.7 billion. Clearly DNA is the gift that keeps on giving when it comes to Wall Street because big data is all the rage and DNA data is at the top of that list.
A little history on Blackstone Inc...
Blackstone Inc is an American alternative investment management company that was founded in 1985 as a mergers and acquisitions firm by Peter G. Peterson and current Chairman and CEO, Stephen A. Schwartzman, both worked together at now defunct Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. An alternative investment firm, rather than stocks, bonds and cash, deals with tangible assets - such as precious metals, coins, antiques, fine art, real estate, private equity, hedge funds, commodities, venture capital, film production, carbon credit (these will soon be coming into play on a large scale), cryptocurrencies, and financial derivatives. Blackstone is one of the largest investors in leveraged bailouts, (the acquisition of another company using a significant amount of borrowed money to meet the cost of acquisition and the assets held by the company are often used as collateral) over the past decade. In 2019, Blackstone converted to a publicly traded partnership into a corporation.
Ancestry.com is the worlds largest provider of DNA services that allow their 18 million registered users to trace their geneology and discover any possible genetic health risks. I completely understand why people would choose to use this kind of service, but my personal feeling about it is no one gets my DNA without a warrant. Period.
As of 2018, more than 15 million people have participated in various genetic testing companies like Ancestry.com, and 23&me.com. Another company, GEDmatch, provides a service for those who have received their geneology from said companies, by allowing them to publish their results into their public database. This allows for people to find unknown relatives. As the database is public, it opens the door for local and federal law enforcement to also access this data.
Unfortunately, voluntarily inputting your own DNA into this public data base also gives consent to access to your other family members, who did not consent, genetic code as well. In a November 2013 column for Scientific American, discussing 23&Me, another Personal Genome Project company akin to Ancestry.com, Charles Seife states :
Unfortunately, especially in this day and age, big technology moves much faster than legislation, so right now it's the wild west when it comes to these companies profiting off of your genetics with no regulations. Not to mention most of our elected officials are more concerned with getting re-elected, rather than protect their constituents DNA....God forbid we end Congresses public sector, taxpayer funded free ride.
Basically people are paying these companies to test their DNA, the companies sell it to other companies for vast amounts of profit and the unsuspecting customers are thus being put into the track, trace, database system.
23&me was recently acquired by big pharma giant, GlaxoSmithKline for a $300 million stake in the company.
Don't worry there is an option to wipe your genetic information off the Ancestry.com website, well if you actually believe that. However, it could have already been sold to other companies and would still be in their databases. Also, if someone opted into the "informed consent to research" clause (always read the fine print!), the company cannot wipe your DNA information from any active or completed projects. Lord knows how many of those there are.
Why would Blackstone Inc want to acquire Ancestry.com? I think there is 4.7 billion reasons why. The top two reasons - First, access to the various patents and testing techniques for extracting genetic data. Second, and most important, the treasure trove of data, more specifically the access to millions of unsuspecting humans genetic code - hence this acquisition is quite literally the gift that keeps on giving. The acquisition comes with the family history of its millions of users and a catalogue of 24 billion records.
Let me add another log on the fire...
Schwartzman, Blackstone Inc's Chairman and CEO has been making moves recently to become one of the top "innovative companies reshaping the world" through artificial intelligence. Personally, seeing that kind of quote sets off alarm bells for me, especially when said company now has access to millions of DNA samples from up tp 30 different countries around the globe. So what is Schwartzman planning on doing will all this genetic data? To be honest, I have no idea, but this is what he's been up to recently...
Schwartzman has also heralded the fast approaching age of A.I as representing the "fourth revolution" for humanity and has argued for greater global collaboration between the U.S and China in A.I development as recent as July 2020 in this Yahoo!Finance OP-ED. In the coronavirus era, probably not the best idea to be pushing A.I collaborations with China, a government who has zero problems snuffing out its own citizen population and holding Muslims in concentration camps...
This Schwartzman kind of reminds me of Bill Gates while talking about lowering the global population... " if we do a really good job with vaccines, health care, reproductive health services, we could lower that by perhaps 10 to 15 percent". When elite eugenicists with a God complex, like Gates pretend to be so called global "humanitarians" my spidey sense goes off.
Acquiring the populations data is now the biggest commodity. However, this is bigger than just your digital footprint, which include your location, usage, purchase, and shopping habits that social media companies sell to the highest bidder....this is your genetic footprint as well as your unsuspecting family members genetic footprint.