Tester beware: Deleting your genetic data is ‘essentially impossible’

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Image credit: Ancestry DNA
[Bloomberg journalist] Kristen V. Brown sent her spit to at least three different companies over the years. She went around to them asking them to get rid of what they had on her.

Ancestry.com allowed her to delete her data online, but a week after she called to ask the company to destroy her DNA sample, it was still intact.

23andMe told her initially that the tools needed to delete her data and sample were “not currently available.” Later, the company told her it couldn’t legally delete her genetic info due to government regulations.

Only one company, Exploragen, told the Bloomberg reporter it would completely delete her genetic information.

Because, here’s the thing: in your excitement to figure out if you’re part Native American after all, you might not have realized that you have very little control over where your genetic information goes after it reaches the company you initially sent it to.

Related article:  Life in a coma: Can a machine tell us whether someone will ever wake up?

A thorough read of the terms of service and privacy policies will reveal that most testing companies have permission to share your DNA data with third parties, such as law enforcement or scientific researchers.

Because your DNA data doesn’t stay between you and the testing company, tracking down and deleting every trace of it is essentially impossible.

Read full, original post: Think Deleting Your Facebook Profile Is Hard? Try Deleting Your Genomic Data.

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