Senator Chuck Schumer sounds alarm over personal genomics privacy

charles shumer exlarge
US Senator Chuck Schumer

[W]ith the holiday season in full swing, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., on [November 26] called for more scrutiny into popular DNA testing kits — saying unknowing customers may be putting their genetic information at risk of being sold to third parties.

Schumer cited the rising popularity of home genetic kits and ancestry services, such as Ancestry, 23andMe and MyHeritage, and said some of their terms-of-service agreements weren’t clear on just what companies could do with your genetic information.

The senator said he was calling on the Federal Trade Commission to “take a serious look at this relatively new kind of service and ensure that these companies can have clear, fair privacy policies.” He added that his concern was over companies’ ability to sell or share genetic information with third parties without customers’ informed consent.

In a statement, a spokesman for Ancestry said, “We respect and agree with Sen. Schumer’s concern for customer privacy and believe any regulation should match the commitments we make to our customers.” The statement added, “We do not sell your data to third parties or share it with researchers without your consent” and “you may request that we delete your data or account at any time.”

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Senator calls for more scrutiny of home DNA test industry

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