This Is What Worries People Most About DNA Test Kits
Curiosity is one of the top reasons people try at-home DNA test kits, but that’s balanced by worries over who has access to such private info, a PrivacyHQ study finds.
People give away so much about themselves online. But some who want to have their DNA tested worry that they would be giving away everything.
A PrivacyHQ study found that though 40% of respondents expressed interest in DNA testing from services such as 23andMe and Ancestry, and 23% had already had it done, lots of people are worried about how that data could be used. With stories in the news about DNA results leading to the arrest of relatives, those who answered the survey said they thought it very likely that their data was shared with insurance companies (59%), financial institutions (52%), legal associates (54%), marketing companies (52%), health care researchers (62%), adoption agencies (52%), and law enforcement (53%).
Even considering these concerns, the lure of uncovering what’s lurking in your DNA can be hard to resist. Survey respondents who had taken a DNA test or were considering doing so had reasons, including wanting to research family lineage (24%), general curiosity (23%), to help define their ethnicity (15%), to learn about their ancestors (12%), to find more family members (12%), to locate their birth parents (8%), to learn about potential medical conditions (7%), and just to learn something new about themselves (1%).
While there’s lots to think about when deciding whether to have your DNA tested, privacy should definitely be a consideration. Read the company’s agreement thoroughly before you spit into a tube, and be aware that even if you find the company’s policies regarding privacy to be satisfactory, your information can still be subject to hacking or law enforcement requests. If you’ve already taken a DNA test and have concerns, there are some ways to opt out of databases. 23andMe can delete some (but not all) data through its account closure process. On Ancestry, you can delete your results and revoke consent.
Originally published at https://www.pcmag.com.