The Chinese government may have stolen personal data from 80% of adults in the United States, according to a 60 Minutes report that aired yesterday on American television and radio network CBS.
In the report, former director of the US National Counterintelligence and Security Center, Bill Evanina, warned that the PRC is actively working to gather and exploit Americans’ DNA and other health information.
Evanina described how Chinese company BGI Group had approached six different states with offers to construct and operate coronavirus testing labs. The company accompanied the offers with promises to “make additional donations” to the states.
Suspicious of the offer and what the data collected may be used for, the former security official warned the states not to accept the Group’s proposal.
“We put out an advisory to not only every American, but to hospitals, associations, and clinics,” said Evanina. “Knowing that BGI is a Chinese company, do we understand where that data’s going?”
He added: “Current estimates are that 80% of American adults have had all of their personally identifiable information stolen by the Communist Party of China.”
The 60 Minutes report described the quest to obtain and control humanity’s biodata—and, in turn, control health care’s future—as the new space race. The PRC has publicized its ambition to lead the world in DNA science and technology public in a manifesto.
“They have something called Made in China 2025,” said former biochemist turned FBI Supervisory Special Agent Edward You, “and in these national strategies, they absolutely call out wanting to be the dominant leader in this biological age.”
Special Agent You said that America could soon be dependent on the PRC for far more than PPE and face masks.
“What happens if we realize that all of our future drugs, our future vaccines, future health care are all completely dependent upon a foreign source?” said You.
Commenting on the special report, Dirk Schrader, global VP at New Net Technologies, said: “Recent cyber-security research about the status of data protection in the health sector indicates that there is no real need for any foreign government to use advanced hacking methods to have access to personal health information (PHI) of US citizens.
“For example, radiology data of approximately six million US citizens was discovered unprotected in late 2019, with no substantial improvement to that a year later. On top of that, the largest provider who had left its radiology archives connected to the public internet without any protection, is owned by a Chinese investor.”