The trust between companies and the publics are being broken by there being a breach in the privacy for the customers. Ancestry DNA testing companies have now given permission to the FBI to access the DNA, but this is leaving many customers betrayed and upset that their information was given away without formal consent.
Ancestry DNA testing have been a recent trend and people are willing to spit their saliva into vials and have it sent off in result for their ancestry results. Although the testing is not fully accurate with changes constantly, there is a trust between the company that their data is the most up to date. There is not much more that finding your ancestry or health possibilities. Policies have been changing so now there is more that can be done with the DNA and that is in the hands of the FBI.
FamilyTreeDNA is the one of the first to let the F.B.I. have access to their customer’s DNA. It’s soon before the big named companies such as Ancestry.com and 23 and Me give up their information.
According to New York Times, “A company spokesman said late Monday that the FBI is only able to see other DNA profiles on FamilyTreeDNA that share some of the same genetic profile. Users can disable the “matching” option in their account settings, which would prevent the FBI, as well as ordinary users, from seeing their information.”
Numerous ancestry DNA testing companies have given information to the F.B.I. for criminal analysis. This will be to help run a larger database to be able to track criminals and serial killers to create a lead.
“FamilyTreeDNA cooperation with the F.B.I. more than doubles the amount of genetic data law enforcement already had access to through GEDmatch.” According to Fortune, “On a case-by-case basis, the company has agreed to test DNA samples for the FBI and upload profiles to its database, allowing law enforcement to see familial matches to crime-scene samples.”
Although the FBI cannot access to more than the user, customers are still upset that they have access as that is not what they intended when giving their saliva.
Companies such as 23andMe are not handing the DNA to the FBI as easily. There must be a court order to get the information but are still working with the pharmaceutical industry.
According to the Atlantic, “Co-founders Anne Wojcicki and Linda Avey outright told the San Francisco Chronicle that selling kits was only the first step. ‘The long game here is not to make money selling kits, although the kits are essential to get the base level data. Once you have the data, [the company] does actually become the Google of personalized health care.’”
When the public became aware of their DNA being used more than just for ancestry informational purposes, the trust with the company banishes. Customers become weary of where their DNA is going and now understand that there is a goal of consumer profit.
According to BBC, “In a blog post when the deal with GSK was announced last year, CEO Anne Wojcicki said she believed combining 23andMe’s genetic research with GSK’s drug development expertise would accelerate the development of scientific breakthroughs.”
Soon customers will have their health data scanned and profiled for what drugs could fit them and be sold directly.
It is always important to research and understand all the different sides before giving away your personal information and data.