DNA Testing Companies Vow Not To Share Genetic Data

In Decenternet, News, Technology
DNA Testing Companies

Genetic data is as vital as every individual’s personal information which should be given tough security to prevent any breach of data.

DNA testing companies like 23andMe and Ancestry submitted to a couple of protocols to pitch into consumer privacy concerns. The policies are projected together with the Future of Privacy Forum. It stated that companies must obtain “separate express consent” from their customers prior to the sharing of their individual-level data such as genetic data and personal information to particular third parties.

The information involved would be a person’s employer, insurance companies, government agencies and educational institutions. Any means of dispatching individual-
level” information should necessitate permission from the DNA’s owner.

The documented measures will also be used by other DNA testing companies like Habit, Helix, and MyHeritage to guide their procedures moving forward.

“In fact, many have made the changes needed or are in the process of updating their policies to reflect the principles within the Best Practices,” Future Privacy Forum CEO Jules Polonetsky in wrote in an email.

In accordance with the best practices regulations, DNA testing companies will make an effort to inform consumers about the emergence of personal data discharges to law enforcement inquiries provided they are lawfully obtained to keep it confidential.

The policies also mentioned those DNA testing companies must divulge the number of times the information has been requested by the police department. The stratagem advances in lieu of the latest incidents that set the focus on these firms particularly their guidelines on disseminating customers’ information.

In California, authorities revealed the capture of Joseph James DeAngelo in April. He was believed to be the hard-to-catch Golden State Killer. The authorities indicated DeAngelo following the administration of a DNA profile from a crime scene sample via the open-source ancestry site GEDMatch. It is one of the DNA testing companies that has been used to solve a small number of other cases.

With respect to those cases, the law enforcers were not obliged to initially acquire a warrant. GEDMatch’s privacy guidelines currently point out that law enforcement can gain entry to the site’s data to pan out sexual assault and murder cases. However, the kind of access has triggered numerous privacy concerns. Other DNA testing companies have been straightforward in not providing authorities the access to their databases with no order from the court.

The guidelines also stated that DNA testing companies must also provide a means for customers to not only eliminate but also mandate the provider to obliterate their genetic data as well as biological samples.

Stolen money is more acceptable than a stolen identity. If there are DNA testing companies that give law enforcement access to their sites without consent, there is a platform that does otherwise. Personal information and most significantly genetic data ar very important information that should be kept confidential.


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