Who Owns Your DNA?

Experts say customers who submit their DNA to ancestry databases may be giving away something they'll never get back. KSDK's P.J. Randhawa reports.

(NBC News) — This holiday season was a hot one for at-home genome testing. Providers like 23andMe and Ancestry.com promoted their heritage and health testing services as a gift for families who want to learn about their genetic makeup.

It might look like the gift that keeps on giving, with new relatives and health findings popping up all the time, but warn that customers may be giving away something they’ll never get back. The history of your DNA doesn’t end when you send it in. It might just be the start of the journey your data can take from testing provider to healthcare companies or the police.

While direct-to-consumer genetic testing providers generally have privacy policies to tell customers how their data will be stored and shared, genetic code is sensitive information on a whole new level. It can connect you to your relatives, predict your risk of disease and even help identify suspects in criminal investigations all over your family tree.

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