Re: issues of DNA privacy #dna

Judy Petersen

Thank you all for your responses.  They are much appreciated!  They will definitely help me frame a response to my reluctant cousins!

Referencing Randy's talk--I saw his presentation on privacy and genealogy at the last conference in Israel, so I don't know if he's updated it or not.  But my takeaway at the time was that "dead people don't have an expectation of privacy".  At the time, much of the discussion in the Q & A had to do with exposing family secrets and based on "dead people don't have an expectation of privacy" you could, but whether you should or not is another issue.  :-)  I don't recall anything specific about DNA, but at the time I wasn't as interested in the topic, so I might have missed it.

I think some of the issue for my family members was also about being denied health coverage if insurance companies got your DNA.  But I would assume that a) you would have to test with a company that provides health testing in the first place, b) that insurance companies couldn't do anything with raw data anyway and c) there's a law prohibiting insurance companies charging higher premiums based on DNA results, so it shouldn't matter.

The other issue was providing DNA to law enforcement.  But I also assume the hows and whys of that would be covered by an testing company's privacy policy, in which case it would behoove the purchaser of a kit to read the policy.

But generally, I agree with Bob.  Our privacy is so compromised already and there are so many other easier ways to gather information that could lead to identity theft, that DNA testing should not be a major worry for people in that regard.

Many thanks!

Judy Petersen

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