Wednesday, January 15, 2020

DNA Kit Companies Always Worry Me

Hey, you all know that while Medical companies that do things with your DNA have rules about privacy, places such as 23andMe do not? Right? I just ask because those cheap kits then allow them to sell the info about the building blocks of your life to pharmaceutical companies. This isn't a rumor, 23andMe actually brags about it in their stock filings. Robinhood--an app that lets you invest in stocks and has an information news email wrote about how 23andMe is getting such a degree of profit from these revenue streams they could just make the kits free as those things aren't the product, you are the product. Check out this bit from the email:

Anytime a service or item is free it is making money off of you. Facebook of course does that too, but Facebook is just selling access to data about your, "Likes," and how you post a lot about which contestants on, "The Bachelor," are arguably this season's villain (I'm not big on Kelsey or Hannah Ann). I love technology, but I don't like the idea of my genetic information being used by a private company however it likes once I sign-up for, "Free." That leads to the last part of the email:

Call me old-fashioned, but this worries me. I am all for my DNA helping to hopefully research diseases or find a match for bone marrow, but within agreements, I've seen and understand. I don't want my DNA to indicate I possibly like certain types of food and suddenly get targeted ads online saying, "Hey, your genetic profile indicates you'll love our chicken nuggets!" You can't just take a cotton swap with my salvia and sell it off to the highest bidder. Maybe I'm paranoid, but I feel like I've seen enough dystopian sci-fi movies/read enough books to know this ain't a path I want to go down.

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