How Private Is Your Dna Information?

Having a DNA test done requires you to give over personal information more personal than even your social security number. Just letting complete strangers have access to your genetic code identity without knowing what exactly they are going to do with that information isn’t wise.

Government databases of DNA can give them types of information that previously would have required a warrant to access. Information about your health, whether your kids are your kids, your ancestry and more in the hands of an institution that has proven itself over and over to abuse its power and disregard constitutional privacy rights is more than a little concerning. The FBI’s Combined DNA Index System or CODIS, which holds information on more than 11 million people suspected of or convicted of crimes, is routinely used for law enforcement purposes. Remember the fairly recent arrest of the Golden State Killer by the use of DNA matching?

Giving insurance databanks information about your genetic information is also something to be cautious of. They could possibly cause denial of insurance if they found information on genetic pre-dispositions or if they tested your DNA for other health issues and found something they didn’t like.

You may not even be aware that if you take a DNA test that your personal information will be sold or shared with other agencies.

If you read the fine print of DNA testing companies like Ancestry, 23 and Me and Helix you might be surprised to know that their terms and conditions basically allows them to use your DNA information for any purpose. In addition to taking your money for doing the DNA testing they are providing you they are also making money on the back end by selling your personal information to multiple data collection centers and agencies.

If you are doing more specific relationship DNA testing like paternity, maternity, grandparent, avuncular or sibling dna testing through private DNA testing companies they often allow you to use fake names, they also destroy your DNA samples after the results are delivered, and have strict policies not to share your DNA with anyone other than the person who ordered the test. But make sure you thoroughly read their privacy policy and their terms and conditions and know exactly how private your DNA information is.

Even with a strong privacy policy in place it is still a good idea to use a fake name or only initials when doing a DNA test so that in the event that a breach of information happened your identity would still be unidentifiable.