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What do you agree to when your DNA is tested?

| | January 15, 2016

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Getting your DNA sequenced is now so cheap and easy that you don’t need to see a medical professional. A variety of online companies are offering direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic tests for health or recreational purposes. These tests claim to detect a wide range of characteristics, from the risk of diseases such as breast cancer or Alzheimer’s or other conditions such as baldness, to specific talents or even romantic compatibility. But when you purchase one of these tests there’s a good chance you don’t know everything you’ve agreed to.

Whether logging into Facebook or downloading a film, you’ve probably “signed” one of these contracts, perhaps without even realising. But do you have any idea what you have agreed to? Avoiding the internet completely is now practically impossible for most of us, yet the content of the contracts we enter into is to a large extent unknown. After all, who has the time to read all these documents, which can be many tens of pages long? Amazon’s and iTunes’ contracts are longer than Hamlet and Macbeth respectively. Even if the contracts are displayed clearly on a website you may not notice them.

It’s the same when you purchase a DNA test online. DTC contracts and privacy policies often resemble those of large internet firms, using standard terms that are not tailored to the services they offer. Under UK and EU regulations, some of these contracts may even qualify as containing unfair terms.

Read full, original post: Take an online DNA test and you could be revealing far more than you realise

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