Legitimate genetic testing companies promise not to sell or give your data away without consent. But usually, a broad consent is part of the contract you make with a DNA testing company – and we’ve all seen those big, long agreements scrolling by, and are used to just clicking ‘agree’.
Even if you do read the whole agreement, you may not understand what you’re giving the company permission to do, said Hank Greely, director of the Center for Law and the Biosciences at Stanford School of Medicine in the US.
“If you just send your DNA in for genealogical work, those companies typically run a test for hundreds of thousands of genetic markers, even though they may be only looking for a couple of hundred markers,” Greely said. You may only be looking for information about your great-great grandfather, but the company’s analysis shows important things about your health too.