Using a direct-to-consumer (DTC) DNA test has many draws. You could discover long-lost relatives, learn your heritage, or possibly what health conditions you might encounter in the future.
However, experts like Michael Edge, a qualitative and computational biologist at the University of Southern California, caution that using DTC tests is a gamble with your most private information–your DNA.
Edge compares your DNA with other private information such as your social security number or credit card number. While a hacker could wreak havoc by obtaining your social security number or credit card number, these don’t give the hacker an increasing knowledge of your personhood. On the other hand, as science evolves, the DNA you submit to DTC becomes more and more valuable because they can extract increasingly more information from it.
Some DTC companies share your genetic information with third parties by default. But companies who require consent to share data aren’t innocent; these companies take one consent and apply it to all other third-party partnerships.
In 2017, one study found that 35 of 90 companies DTC companies had no protocol on how they would handle biological samples or genetic data.
To summarize what has been said: it all comes back to money. DTC DNA companies first sell you a product to uncover some whimsical or practical information. But then, these companies sell off your genetic information to third-party companies. Finally, DTC companies can continue to make a profit off your DNA for decades to come as we learn more about human DNA.
If you’re looking for genetic information, don’t turn to a DTC DNA test. Instead, submit your DNA sample through DNA Paternity Testing. We take privacy very seriously and don’t sell your genetic information to third parties.
DNA Paternity Testing provides rock-solid answers to important questions like parentage and ancestry. With over 2,000 centers nationwide, DNA Paternity Testing Centers is one of the largest, most affordable, networks of accredited DNA testing labs in the United States. Our price is unbeatable without sacrificing quality. We offer DNA testing for paternity, maternity and all other relationships (grandparents, siblings, aunts/uncles).