23andMe selling DNA for profit
23andMe genetic eavesdropping AT THE CONSUMERS REQUEST
by: Leah Talley
23 and me is the genetic research arm of ancestry.com. When they first began offering genetic testing for $99 I was pretty skeptical that they would simply evaluate your data and return it back to you, keeping your personal data and privacy strictly anonymous.
Several of my friends paid the $99 and got back a fairly detailed report. In fact with the leaps and bounds genetic testing has undergone since the first discovery of DNA these samples could reveal your life story, future outcomes, along with details of your family.
I believed then that the information people provided to 23andme via ancestry.com could easily fall into nefarious arms. Further, I believed the data has the potential to later include these SHEEPLE on the shortlist for eugenics, or undesirable trait culling, especially with Obamacare in full swing.
Saying “I told you so”gives me no great pleasure. However I just discovered that all the data they collected is now for sale, yes for sale.
Now if you are one of those people who paid $99 and spit on that little stick and you find yourself saying, “but they promised I would be anonymous!” Well did you read the fine print? Did you read the privacy statement? Do you ever read the privacy statements?!
We will not use your sensitive information without your consent unless: (i) the information has been anonymized or aggregated so that you cannot reasonably be identified as an individual; or (ii) a legal obligation requires us to use it in some way e.g. a court order requires us to disclose the information.
NOTE: Our service providers act on 23andMe’s behalf. While we implement procedures and contractual terms to protect the confidentiality and security of your information, we cannot guarantee the confidentiality and security of your information due to the inherent risks associated with storing and transmitting data electronically.
For example, to learn more about our third-party laboratories, click here.
Sharing your genetic information in this day and age is very dangerous. It’s my recommendation that you write to 23andme revoking any permission you may have arbitrarily or accidentally given them to share and sell your genetic data.
Simply opt out
Withdrawing your Consent. You may withdraw your consent to participate in 23andMe Research at any time by changing your consent status on your 23andMe Account Settings page, or by sending a request to the Human Protections Administrator at hpa@23andMe.com. 23andMe will not include your Genetic Information, Self-Reported Information or Web Behavior Information in new 23andMe Research occurring after 30 days from the receipt of your request. Any research involving your data that has already been performed or published prior to our receipt of your request will not be reversed, undone, or withdrawn. You may also discontinue your participation in 23andMe Research by closing your Personal Genome Service account. If you withdraw your consent for 23andMe Research your Genetic Information and Self-Reported Information may still be used by us and shared with our third-party service providers to provide and improve our Services (as described in Sections 2.a and 2.b, above), and shared as Aggregate Information that does not identify you as an individual (as described above in Section 2.c).
What happens if you do NOT consent to 23andMe Research? If you do not complete a Consent Document or any additional consent agreement with 23andMe, your information will not be shared or used for 23andMe Research. However, your Genetic Information and Self-Reported Information may still be used by us and shared with our third-party service providers to provide and improve our Services (as described in Section 2.a and 2.b, above), and shared as Aggregate Information that does not identify you as an individual (as described in Section 2.c, above).
**UPDATE ** UPDATE ** UPDATE **
Five years after privacy advocates warned about the potential risks to privacy posed by massive genetics databases, they are, indeed, causing problems. Two popular geneology websites, Ancestry.com and 23andMe, both maintain such databases on behalf of private citizens. Now there’s at least one case on record of Ancestry’s data being used in a murder case, and 23andMe has seen a few requests too.