Long-term integrity protection of genomic data

AuthorBuchmann, Johannes; Geihs, Matthias; Hamacher, Kay; Katzenbeisser, Stefan; Stammler, Sebastian
TypeJournal Article
AbstractGenomic data is crucial in the understanding of many diseases and for the guidance of medical treatments. Pharmacogenomics and cancer genomics are just two areas in precision medicine of rapidly growing utilization. At the same time, whole-genome sequencing costs are plummeting below $ 1000, meaning that a rapid growth in full-genome data storage requirements is foreseeable. While privacy protection of genomic data is receiving growing attention, integrity protection of this long-lived and highly sensitive data much less so.We consider a scenario inspired by future pharmacogenomics, in which a patient’s genome data is stored over a long time period while random parts of it are periodically accessed by authorized parties such as doctors and clinicians. A protection scheme is described that preserves integrity of the genomic data in that scenario over a time horizon of 100 years. During such a long time period, cryptographic schemes will potentially break and therefore our scheme allows to update the integrity protection. Furthermore, integrity of parts of the genomic data can be verified without compromising the privacy of the remaining data. Finally, a performance evaluation and cost projection shows that privacy-preserving long-term integrity protection of genomic data is resource demanding, but in reach of current and future hardware technology and has negligible costs of storage.
InEURASIP Journal on Information Security, p.16