Risks of Sharing DNA with Genetic Testing Sites
Nowadays, many consumer DNA testing companies promise to reveal everything from personal traits to health predispositions to other secrets hidden in your DNA.
There is nothing more sensitive than your genetic information, and uploading your raw data or taking a test entails sharing your personal genetic information with other DNA sites.
It’s important to understand how your DNA data might be used by these companies, and how you can prevent your DNA information from being stolen, or shared with others without your consent.
Read on to learn more about the risks involved with uploading your genetic information using DNA sequencing tools.
How Law Enforcement May Get Access To Your Genetic Information
Consumer genetic databases, particularly the ones that offer free genetic testing, may be used by law enforcement for police investigations.
In 2018, GEDMatch, a free-to-use genetic service, gave law enforcement officials access to user records to help in the investigation of murders and sexual assaults, unless users opted out.
In the same year, FamilyTreeDNA made some modifications to its terms of service in order to allow law-enforcement use in cases of “violent crimes.”
Nowadays, it is suspected that some companies that offer DNA analysis for free might actually be run by law enforcement agencies, which means that your information might be easily accessible for solving criminal cases.
However, it is important to take note that there are reputable companies that still take your privacy as their top priority, and have strict policies on how to protect your information.
23andMe and Ancestry, for example, have kept their ground in not releasing any customer data to law enforcement.
While these reputable businesses choose to fight demands from law enforcement by using all available legal and administrative means, they may still be required by law to comply with a legitimate court order, subpoena, or search warrant for genetic or personal information.
Have you already taken a DNA test with 23andMe? Use your results to unlock more powerful information into you health and well-being. See LifeDNA plans here.
Is Your DNA At Risk From Cyber Attacks?
Certain DNA testing websites do not have stringent security measures, making their system more susceptible to a data breach.
In 2017, researchers at the University of Washington discovered indications of poor security practices utilized in many open-source DNA sequencing tools.
The study identified known security flaws that could enable unauthorized parties to acquire control of computer systems, potentially letting them steal your personal information or even alter DNA results.
There are people out there who would want to steal your data. That’s why it is important to know how these companies protect your DNA information against cybersecurity risks.
At LifeDNA, the safety of our users’ information is our top priority. Your DNA is encrypted, safe, and secure.
We never had a data breach in our system, and we regularly check our security measures in order to keep DNA information protected at all times.