Imagine a world where your biology can be used as a weapon against you…
Where an employer can refuse to hire you or your children because anxiety runs in the family…
Or where an insurance company denies coverage because your genetic makeup shows a high cancer risk. (Read Genetic Testing Could Torpedo Your Insurance).
Not only is it possible, it’s LIKELY. Why? Because every year millions of Americans spit into a test tube and send it off to companies like 23andMe, Ancestry.com and Living DNA. For as little as $100, they get back all kinds of data about your ethnic roots and (for an additional fee) your odds for developing diseases like Alzheimer’s.
If you’re one of those people, do you really believe your genetic data is safely locked away and you are the only one with access? HA!
Forbes reports that 23andMe sold access to its database to at least 13 outside pharmaceutical firms. One buyer, Genentech, paid a cool $10 million for the genetic profiles of people suffering from Parkinson’s. In another example, AncestryDNA announced a lucrative data-sharing partnership with the biotech company Calico.
Why can they do it? Because in order to get your test results, you must agree to the company’s terms and conditions, which of course has fine print buried in there about their use of YOUR data.
Once the pharmaceutical giants have your personal genetic code, where will it travel next? Who says it won’t be shared with insurance companies or the government? And once the secrets of your genome are housed in multiple databases, you can bet one or more of them will be hacked by thieves!
The bottom line: Think twice before you spit into that test tube. You are giving away a lot more than you think. If you have already been tested, log into your account and examine your privacy settings or delete your account entirely. If necessary, call the company to see what your options are.
There’s only one person who should have access to the intimate details of what makes you…you. And that’s YOU!