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Understand DNA Testing Privacy

Understand DNA Testing Privacy


By: Andrew Erk

Understand DNA Testing Privacy

You may be trying to figure out what Christmas gift to get to wow someone on your list, or to have someone else get for you. The idea of getting one of the many DNA testing options comes to mind, but the question you forgot to ask when exploring this possible Christmas option is your online privacy.

What happens to all of the data and sensitive information that these companies are collecting on you? Are they keeping it and sharing it with other companies, or are they destroying it after they send you the results?

Here are a few reminders to consider this holiday season before picking what DNA testing might be the best for you or whomever you’re buying for.

  1. Compare Privacy

Take the time to dig into what the privacy policies are for each specific company. Before instantaneously hitting the accept button on the terms of service, do a bit of digging. These pieces of information may not be the easiest to find, but being careful to protect sensitive information is worth that few extra minutes. Remember, no two companies have the same policy. So, don’t assume one’s privacy policy is the same as another. Check each company separately and with equal care.

  1. Inspect Profile Options

As with the privacy policies, most of the time users don’t take the time to inspect the privacy settings on the profile that the company is going to create about you. Some information may be shared with the public unless otherwise stated not to be. Inspect these options to ensure that only the information you are comfortable with being public is shared. Remember, defaults usually aren’t the most private options.

  1. Understand Risk

As with everything you do on the internet, there are certain inherit risks that come along. Data breaches are possible, so being careful to have a decent understanding of the security abilities of each company can help put your mind at ease. If you’re worried that someone looking at this information could cause you harm, perhaps consider other family genealogy options other than an online DNA test.

  1. Seek Help

If you feel a company is inappropriately advertising security or faulty services, report them to the FTC. The FTC is looking to take action against companies that are wrongfully targeting consumers and want to hear your story on what they can do to offer you the most help.

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Andrew Erk is our Trade Practice Assistant. He writes about business trends and consumer news and is also our social media, graphic design and digital guru.