Nov. 26 (UPI) – Sen. Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., asked the Federal Trade Commission on Sunday to investigate companies that provide DNA-ancestry results due to potential privacy concerns.
Speaking at a press conference, Schumer said the terms of the service agreements are not clear and could allow companies to sell very personal and detailed information about genetics and DNA to third parties without the user's full consent.
"This is what many consumers do not know, that their sensitive information may end up in the hands of unknown third-party companies," Schumer said, according to NBC News. "There are no prohibitions, and many companies say they can still sell their information to other companies."
He added: "Now, this is confidential information, and what those companies can do with all that data, our sensitive information and the deeper information, their genetics, is not clear and in some cases is not fair or correct. "
Schumer said the FTC should investigate the business practices of the companies that perform the DNA tests.
"When it comes to protecting consumers from the service of DNA testing kits in the home, the federal government is behind … That's why I'm asking the Federal Trade Commission to seriously examine this type of relatively new service and make sure these companies have clear and fair privacy policies and standards for all kinds of DNA testing kits in the home, "Schumer said, according to Staten Island Advance.
Schumer highlighted the small print of AncestryDNA, which says it has the right to "communicate its genetic information for the purpose of: Pro"
Ancestry DNA told the New York Post that it does not sell information without the client's consent .
"We respect and agree with Senator Schumer's concern for customer privacy and believe that any regulation must match the commitments we make to our customers," the company said.
A recent report by Gizmodo badyzed the terms and conditions of several DNA testing companies and found the terms and conditions and discovered that these companies can claim ownership of the DNA, who else can own the DNA and for what purposes they are not clear and DNA information can be attacked.
"It's basically like you do not have privacy, they're taking it all," Joel Winston, a consumer protection lawyer, told Gizmodo. "When it comes to DNA testing, do not badume you have any rights."