Personal DNA tests carry high risk of privacy breach

Where did my ancestors come from? What can my genes tell me about lurking health dangers? Is this child really mine?

Curiosity drives these questions, and some can be answered by sending a cheek swab away in the mail…[But] once you put your cheek swab in the mail, you risk permanently losing control over a complete copy of your genetic data, linked to your real identity.

Whatever the privacy policies of any given company may say, you have no way of knowing whether they’re being adhered to or what may happen to your sample as companies are bought and sold in the future, explains…legal scholar Andelka Phillips.


Unlike a compromised bank password, which can be changed, a privacy breach involving your DNA is irreversible, Phillips says.

Police have shown interest in the vast stores of DNA held by private companies.


So what should an individual do? [T]he answer…comes down to your own comfort level, and how you perceive the trade-off between some information now and a potential privacy breach in the future.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Privacy risks lurk in DNA tests, experts warn

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