California: Giving out personal data to companies for tailored information has become as common as writing your name and address on a postcard. However, in the digital age, the implications of sharing personal data are insane.
According to a recent study by the MIT Technology Review, over 26 million people have taken DNA tests from major consumer genetics companies, giving out the remainder of their private and confidential data.
At the given rate, gene troves could hold data on the genetic makeup of more than 100 million people within the next 24 months.
The surging public interest in ancestry and health, thanks to TV and online marketing is the reason why in-home DNA tests are becoming popular. Part curiosity, part easy access; all that a person needs to do is spit in a tube or swab their cheeks and ship the sample to have their genomes analyzed.
Once the analyses are out, they can’t be undone, such as discovering a sibling you never knew about. The genetic combination reveals where your ancestors came from, how closely you are related to another member in the database, and whether you have certain traits.
Irrespective of the factors defining your lineage and probable traits, the exploding DNA database is a goldmine for medical corporations as well as law enforcement.