Here’s the Background Story:
Learning about your family history and origins is an exciting and insightful endeavor. The traditional way of obtaining this knowledge involves calling city halls across the country and digging through public records and even browsing cemeteries. You’ll need to access these records from overseas eventually, which is a considerable challenge.
Alternatively, you could send your DNA sample to a laboratory and access a database to pinpoint where your family came from hundreds of years ago. Some of these ancestry websites enable you to connect with family you never knew you had. DNA testing kits have skyrocketed in popularity because they’re accessible and highly accurate.
This concept is concerning to some people, and for a good reason. Are these DNA testing services are breaching your privacy? Is your genetic data genuinely safe in the hands of these companies?
Here Are the Contributing Factors:
Few people know what truly goes on behind the doors of NA testing agencies. Additionally, part of the terms of service for DNA testing includes a clause that states your information can be used for law enforcement purposes. Are they copying or sharing your information without consent? Perhaps they’re storing your DNA samples in a secret warehouse after “throwing them away.”
Some believe that law enforcement should have access to your genetic data. Referencing DNA is an invaluable tactic for police forces. But, should tracing the roots of your family tree put your data in the hands of any government entity, whether it’s law enforcement or not?
You can give an officer of the law a glass of water in your own home without fear. They can’t legally take samples without a warrant or subpoena. Similarly, police officers can’t utilize cell phone or car trackers without a court order. Most of your personal information is still protected under the law.
But it may not even be about you. Your DNA sample can help link a relative’s DNA to yours, even if they don’t want it to be. Right now that may not seem like anything but a cool new way to connect with long lost relatives, but what happens when those relatives turn to crime or want to remain lost for some other reason?
Some experts aren’t concerned about genetic privacy so long as the information is utilized for violent criminal cases. DNA is a useful tool for law enforcement and private citizens alike, but any tool can be misused.
This Is What Other People Think:
Poll: Are DNA Test Kits a Breach of Privacy?
55% Voted Yes
45% Voted No
What Do You Think?
The genetic data you send to a testing lab contains a lot of information about you and your family. Do you feel comfortable sharing your personal data to DNA testing companies? We want to hear from you, so be sure to vote.