Mail- in genetic tests offer a wealth of information about your ancestry and insight into health risks— in exchange for a lot of data.
People often worry that discovering things about their DNA will be upsetting, and they won’t know what to do with the information - namely, the risk of contracting various diseases and health conditions. Scientists are skeptical of the information and contend that it may not even be as reliable as claimed. This may lead to people making health decisions that may be detrimental. Another risk consumers might not consider is privacy. You can never be too careful with your personal genetic information since sending away for an individual genome kit means letting the testing companies have your DNA. Your DNA isn’t Beyond providing genetic and health assessments to consumers, what else do they do with it?
Consumer DNA testing kits like those from 23andMe, Ancestry.com and MyHeritage promise a road map to your genealogy, ethnicity and family history and, in some cases, information about your genetic health. They also ask for a lot of trust with your DNA information — trust that, in some ways, may not be earned.
Home DNA testing kits usually involve taking a cheek swab or saliva sample and mailing it off to the company. In that little sample is the most personal information you can share: your genetic code. Some companies share that data with law enforcement, and most sell your DNA data to third parties, after which it can become difficult to track. For some people who work for small companies or serve in the military, it can affect insurance premiums and even the ability to get insurance at all.
While DNA testing has been used in medical and scientific contexts for decades, direct-to-consumer testing kits are still relatively new and legal policies that govern the private use of consumer data are still being developed.
According to Dr. James Hazel, a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Genetic Privacy and Identity in Community Settings, there are fewer protections for your data with consumer DNA testing kits than there would be if you were taking a medical test. If a doctor takes a DNA sample, that sample is protected by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and there are limits on how it can be shared.
Even as the DNA testing market has snowballed - worth almost $99 million in 2017 and expected to reach $310 million by 2022 - concerns about the use of genetic data have grown as well. Customers are often unaware that they will be giving their information to third parties, and there have been complaints that the terms of service are not always clear regarding the practices of these companies.
One thing to be aware of when a DNA testing company uses a third party it will be difficult or impossible to delete your data from third parties once they have already received it. It’s also hard to guarantee that those third parties won’t also share your data with yet another company or research organization down the road. Once that data has been shared with a third party, it’s really difficult to control further sharing. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t share data with researchers, but you should know the risks going in.
Sequencing is unlike other DNA test competitors on the market today. Your data is never shared with any third party. Raw information and reports are securely stored within Sequencing’s advanced security systems and can be quickly deleted by users. Once deleted, the information is completely gone.
Unlike other companies, this gives consumers peace of mind that their information won’t be stolen by hackers or sold to government agencies, pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies or other entities. With this privately-owned company, you don’t have to worry about your DNA falling into the hands of law enforcement or anyone else.
One of the most unique things about Sequencing is that you own your DNA data and you can choose to share it, download it or delete whenever you need. You are always in full control of your data and in the end your privacy.
At Sequencing your account is protected by their advanced data security protocols and encryption technologies to protect all files and genetic data in your Sequencing.com account. Like your bank, no one else, but you can access your customer data and information.
Unlike other big DNA testing companies, Sequencing is privately owned and operated by medical physicians and geneticists and is much more than a DNA testing service. This means that your data is not being controlled by giant tech companies, pharmaceutical companies or government agencies. Sequencing’s primary goal is to give you the tools and answers to your genetics and ancestry information. They are also HIPAA, HITECH, US-EU / US-Swiss Privacy Shield compliant and compliant with the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
First and foremost Sequencing is a safe at home for your DNA
It’s also a great way to keep up with the latest advancements in DNA analysis. With the most comprehensive direct-to-consumer genetic test available, Sequencing.com lets you learn more about yourself than you could ever hope to know from traditional DNA testing alone. It’s a great tool for making selective choices to pursue information and optimize your data with Sequencing.com’s App Market, with over 100 apps and counting. They also have the most extensive DNA database.
Another reason that Sequencing stands out from the rest is that you can upload your DNA test results from other companies
But aside from the technology, Sequencing offers a level of privacy and security that is unparalleled. You don’t have to worry about data breaches, or your information being sold without permission, which is what ultimately holds many people back from exploring their own DNA markers.