A recent announcement from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and Indiana University at Bloomington describes a process that permits database queries for genome-wide association studies but reduces the chances of privacy compromises to almost zero.
The new system, implements a technique called “differential privacy,” which has been a major area of cryptographic research in recent years. Differential-privacy techniques add a little bit of noise, or random variation, to the results of database searches, to confound algorithms that would seek to extract private information from the results of several, tailored, sequential searches.
You can read more in an announcement from the MIT News Office at http://news.mit.edu/2016/protecting-privacy-genomic-databases-0809.
This process is used only for protecting medical research information involving large numbers of people but not for protecting genealogy data of individuals. I don’t see much application for genealogy databases at this time but any progress in protecting DNA information and increasing privacy is welcome.