The dark side of consumer DNA testing
by E.B. Johnson
Posted July 3, 2021
Before you send off that 23andMe swab, there are a few things to consider. Despite what they may preach through their carefully crafted marketing campaigns, consumer DNA testing does come with considerable downsides. When you take a realistic look at the way some of these companies operate, you can see a lot of potential holes, which should give us all pause for thought. Before you invest in 23andMe, Ancestry, or any other consumer DNA company, make sure you’re clear on all the potential consequences.
Perhaps one of the most immediate and alarming shortfalls of the consumer genetic testing wave is the potential for data hacking. That’s right. There’s a lot of information that these companies keep on you, and wherever information is stored — it can be stolen. That was proven when a mega-haul of 92 million accounts from MyHeritage were discovered on a private server.
Perhaps one of the scariest downsides of genetic testing, law enforcement agencies are gaining increasing access to more and more genetic samples and information. While this might seem helpful in the instance of solved cold causes, it also creates some very intense question of ethics, privacy, and public safety. As it stands now in the United States, law enforcement can gain access to your DNA with court subpoena — which is relatively easy for them to attain. Any time you or someone you are related to give their genetic information, you’re potentially creating a door for law enforcement to enter your life. More…