DNA Testing

Have you sent a spit sample to any of the DNA testing companies like Ancestry or 23andMe to try to learn more about your heritage or health risks?  If so, was it worth it?

If not, what are your concerns?   

Original Post

call me paranoid too i'd never give away my dna for free like that.

https://www.23andme.com/law-enforcement-guide/

"We work with third-party companies to provide users with services on behalf of 23andMe, and in some cases these companies may have access to a limited amount of non-genetic user information. Specifically, our contracted lab has access to users’ DNA samples and limited user information for processing purposes"

you have no idea if that contracted lab isnt giving your information away to a healthcare / insurance company t hat's going to further screen  you from getting coverage above the standard blood and fitness test.

I just did it after my daughter and sister had already done it.  Good thing, is at least my daughter has my DNA.  Only surprise is that I expected German to be my biggest %, but I came up as 55% British/Irish and only 25% German/French...but overall 99.7% European.

If you start getting emails from me offering you huge sums of cash for a low service and handling fee of $99.99, its because the 0.3% came back Nigerian hehe.

The reason I asked: my better half had commented several times over the past few years about wanting to do this, so I recently got her a test kit. (Annoyingly, I shelled out C$149 only to see them selling for $69 this past weekend. )  

However, the kit is sitting on the kitchen counter unused. At some point between mentioning her interest and receiving the kit, she heard about the hazy and ill-defined privacy risks of sending one's DNA to a third party (as g-man notes above). I wanted to see if anyone else had thought through this and where they landed on doing the test. Thanks for the responses so far.  

 

I am curious how non-US countries are handling these kits and where or how the information is restricted.  My understanding is that Canada and Western European countries have stricter privacy laws.  Does anyone know if the data is sitting in a server in a country that doesn't recognize the privacy laws.

I have thought about it, too.  I am not overly concerned about genetic information being (mis)used.  What I DO wonder about is the reliability of the results.  In most lab work, one would send split samples to two or more labs for analysis.  Thus, if I were to do it, I would send 3 splits to both Ancestry and 23&Me.  That would be too much money, so thus far I have passed.

The point of DNA is that you are no longer anonymous.  All it takes is for a family member to do the same test and they know the sample is you with a high degree of certainty.

Add that to the fact that governments like China are already keeping track of the entire country via dna 

https://www.wsj.com/articles/c...-database-1514310353

makes me definitely not want to get tested, if ever.  You never know when our government decides it's a good idea to do some policy decisions based on the population's DNA.

Gman makes some good points.  With all the data that has been collected by various sources, and it is huge, what is being done with the data and what could be done with that data in the future that could be at your detriment?  A friend did not want to get tested for being celiac due the possible impact on health insurance.  She knows she can't handle gluten, but didn't want it to be "official".  Google and Amazon have shown signs of taking any information they can to use to their advantage, without regard to people's privacy, I would not get Alexis or other devices that can watch what you are doing and collect data and I do not consider myself paranoid.

In this area, a couple of cold-case murders have been solved by using the DNA of close relatives (of the killers) who sent in these kits. I'm not sure how law enforcement became aware of, or got warrants for, the test results.

When my wife sent in her sample, she posted to her Facebook page that her relatives had a 4-6 week head start...

My mother was adopted, grew up on a farm, loved horses, nature and Indian culture, and looked like a cross between Julia Jones and Catherine Zeta Jones.  She was always told she was probably Native American.  Made her happy to think that.  

 

For Mother’s Day I got her the test.  Told her not to do it if it might make her upset if she wasn’t Native American a la Elizabeth Warren.  She sent it in.  50% British Isles and nearly 50% Scandinavian.  I was very surprised.  I told her she must be Welsh but now she happily  tells everyone she is Irish lol.

 

 I work in forensic science and can tell you the genetic markers being utilized are extremely telling.  No BS.  I’m not as worried about the privacy concerns with the contracted companies.  Just don’t EVER upload your profile to the public sites.  That is freely abandoning your profile and is not smart if worried about insurance companies down the road.

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