DNA Dilemma: What you could be signing up for with DNA test kits

DNA generic

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Genetic testing kits are gaining popularity. You can find out a wealth of information with just your saliva.

But a lot of people, including Jeremy Blanford, worry about how safe that personal information really is.

Blanford lost his father just days after Christmas. Before he died, Bill Blanford gave his wife — Jeremy’s Mom — a final Christmas present: A DNA testing kit from 23 and Me.

“Dad seemed to get presents that most people wouldn’t really think about,” Blanford said.

After his death, Jeremy’s mom started really reading the fine print that went along with the kit. She wasn’t happy with what she read, and neither was Jeremy. 

“She would start ticking off, ‘This is what they potentially have the rights to do,'” Blanford said.

Dr. Marc Clauson is a professor of history and law at Cedarville University. He says their concerns are legitimate. Clauson says there are two areas of privacy people need to consider.

“In the private sector, with regard to what they do with your data and whether it can be hacked,” Clauson said.

Clauson said there is a statute that forbids the sale of that information to insurance companies, but it’s legal to sell to other types of businesses and organizations. Another concern he says is just how much information there is to read in those privacy agreements. You agree to it when you create your account on 23 and Me’s website. To read through it, you click a link on the registration page and then sift through pages of disclosures.

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