When you take a DNA paternity testing, make sure the lab you approach has your privacy as their first priority. As there has been a rise of DNA testing, many companies don’t count as reliable. This is why it is always a good idea to have a look at the factors regarding privacy.
Not all companies have the best intentions
This is due to the fact that the personal data is deemed the king. And your genetic profile is one of your detailed as well as a personal one too. There are many straightforward DNA testing labs that help in understanding the customers about the genetic makeup, and there are many which don’t have the best intentions. The gist is to use your genetic profile for internal research, exciting information on sibling DNA testing, product information or to sell it away to the other companies.
Genetic information can be used for insurance purposes to predict what medicines you buy. Any breach or theft of such details can lead to identity fraud and can cause you a lifetime punishment. These details can also be used for your current or future biometric technologies.
Rules and policies on this innovation and the most sensitive type of data privacy have strived to keep pace with this booming industry. Right at this moment, companies are only allowed to sell the genetic data in anonymous or aggregated way. However, by this very nature, the data of the DNA is extremely complex, or impossible to anonymize. Unless and until you are an identical twin, your DNA can only be one like it in the entire world. In other words, it can be traced back to you no matter if it is packaged with many other DNA data or not. The regulations and policy never take this into account and consideration and hence it leaves a huge privacy gap.
Important questions to ask before taking a DNA test
Due to the lackluster regulations, it is totally up to the customer to check the privacy policies of the DNA testing lab. Here are some questions you can ask:
- Does the company or lab keep the genetic information after the sample processing or is it deleted immediately?
- If the data isn’t immediately deleted, can it be requested to be deleted later?
- With whom the company shares the average genetic data and how to ensure that it is not being misused there?
- What is the policy for law enforcement access to customer data?
This is a serious issue to handle. Your personal information like your credit card numbers, social security numbers etc. can be stolen and can be deemed as identity theft. However, those numbers can be regenerated and your identity can be protected again. It is your DNA profile that cannot be changed, and will never be changed, so when this information is mishandled by wrong hands, it could lead to catastrophe. Always consider these factors when you are considering to undergo a DNA paternity test.