The Chinese Communist Party is stealing U.S. citizens’ DNA and health care data, according to a new Director of National Intelligence report.
The report, which comes from the director’s counterintelligence and security center, says China illegally exploits data from American medical records to obtain DNA identification patterns, also known as PII, for “much of the U.S. population.” China can use this information to target Americans, according to the report.
“The combination of stolen PII, personal health information, and large genomic data sets collected from abroad affords the PRC vast opportunities to precisely target individuals in foreign governments, private industries, or other sectors for potential surveillance, manipulation, or extortion,” the report reads. “Such data sets could help the PRC not only recruit individuals abroad but also act against foreign dissidents.”
Beijing has extracted the personal data of American citizens in several ways, including cyberattacks on the federal government. In 2014, China conducted a large-scale hack of the White House’s Office of Personnel Management, obtaining the personal information of some 21 million Americans. Some of the stolen data included information on security clearances for U.S. government personnel.
The U.S. government has worked with genetic testing companies tied to China in its pandemic response, potentially disclosing large quantities of American health care data to the Communist nation, the Washington Free Beacon reported in December.