Why Are You Publicly Sharing Your Child’s DNA Information?

Written by Nila Bala on The New York Times.

The problem with these tests is twofold. First, parents are testing their children in ways that could have serious implications as they grow older — and they are not old enough to consent. Second, by sharing their children’s genetic information on public websites, parents are forever exposing their personal health data.

Dr. Louanne Hudgins, a geneticist at Stanford, cautions parents to consider the long-term privacy of their child’s health information collected through home genetic kits. Their children’s DNA and other health data, she has warned, could be sold to other companies — marketing firms, data brokers, insurance companies — in the same way that social media sites and search engines collect and share data about their users.

The sharing of DNA results on open-source genealogy databases to find long-lost relatives poses another privacy risk: When parents share their children’s DNA on these sites, they are effectively sharing it with the world, including with the government and law enforcement investigators.

Read ‘Why Are You Publicly Sharing Your Child’s DNA Information?’ on the The New York Times site.

Tagged with: DNA, consent, privacy.