STATEN ISLAND, NY – Think twice before giving away a DNA test kit at home this holiday season, as they can put consumer privacy at risk, says Senator Charles Schumer (D-New York).
The senator says he is against the kits because DNA testing signatures, such as AncestryDNA, MyHeritage and others, do not always clearly reveal what they are doing with the consumer's DNA once it is sent to their company.
Schumer calls the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate and ensure that the privacy policies in all DNA testing kits are clear, transparent and fair to consumers as services become more popular.
"When it comes to protecting consumers from the DNA test kit at home service, the federal government is behind, putting their most personal genetic information in the hands of third parties for their exclusive use raises many concerns, from the possibility from discrimination by employers to health insurance, "said Schumer.  Sensitive information DNA test kits can end up in the hands of many other third-party companies. The different terms of service for each company mean that consumers do not understand the consent they are giving to use their data.
"That is why I am asking the Federal Trade Commission to seriously examine this relatively new type of service and ensure that these companies have clear and fair privacy policies and standards for all types of DNA test kits in the country. home, "said Schumer. "We do not want to impede research, but we also do not want to empower those who seek to make quick money or unfairly judge their genetic information.We can find the right balance here, and we must do it"
] Kits require a cheek swab or collection of spit, which is sent for genetic tests.
Schumer noted that the DNA testing market was worth approximately $ 70 million in 2015 and is expected to increase to $ 340 million by 2022, according to media reports.