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Zuckerberg’s Biohub involved in commercially exploiting data from unsuspecting pregnant Danish women

Pregnant Danish women participated in a public research project giving blood samples at the State Serum Institute (SSI) every week. They have now discovered that they were actually unwittingly contributing to an American business enterprise in which Facebook CEO and billionaire Mark Zuckerberg is involved.

Published: December 1, 2020, 9:54 am

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    Copenhagen

    These Danish participants in a medical research project were never informed of the commercial interests: The project is likely to become a huge international success. The data protection violation of some 263 women has been called a “bad deal for Denmark”.

    Danish Radio reported that blood samples were taken from the participants for the duration of their pregnancy to track neurotransmitters. The samples were the basis of a blood test designed to predict premature birth, now tipped to become a worldwide commercial success.

    The American research center, the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub, conducting the studies was founded by Zuckerberg, currently the co-owner of the lucrative invention. The participants however were never informed of the commercial interests linked to the research project at Stanford University.

    The research project had been approved by a Danish Science Ethics Committee, but the SSI was never notified of the commercial interests of the project, launched by a Dane, Mads Melbye, in the US.

    According to Kent Kristensen, associate professor of health law at the University of Southern Denmark, there had been no data processor agreement, and the samples were transferred illegally in violation of the rules on data protection.

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